LUFKIN, Texas (KXAN/AP) - Charlie Wilson, the former U.S. congressman from Texas whosefunding of Afghanistan's resistance to the Soviet Union waschronicled in the movie "Charlie Wilson's War," has died.
He was 76.
A hopsital spokeswoman in Lufkin said Wilson died Wednesday ofcardiopulmonary arrest.
Wilson represented the 2nd district in East Texas in the U.S.House from 1973 to 1996. He was the subject of the movie starringTom Hanks in 2007.
The film was about Wilson's efforts to arm Afghani mujahedeenduring their war against the Soviet Union. Wilson, a member of theHouse Appropriations Committee, helped secure money forweapons.
Wilson was known as "Good Time Charlie" when he was inWashington.
The Texas Democratic Party released this statement on Wilson'spassing:
"Many Texans like to think of themselves as larger than life, and Charlie Wilson truly was. Although much was written about “good time Charlie”, he was more than a good public servant – he was a great public servant. Even Tom Hanks couldn’t capture everything that was Charlie. In both Austin and Washington, Charlie represented his East Texas constituents with a commitment that was absolute and he always stood tall for Texas. Whether he was standing up for Texans here at home or those serving in the far corners of the globe, he was a great asset to our state and nation and he will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."
Congressman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, sent the followingstatement: "America has lost a true political hero. Charlie Wilson'sconvictions and courage as a member of Congress helped thwart theadvancement of the Soviet Red Army into the Middle East during theCold War. Charlie will be remembered for his commitment topreserving the liberties of our allies, and for his actions thathelped slow down the Communist regime, which eventually was broughtto its knees under Ronald Reagan."
Hank Gilbert, who is running for Agriculture Commissioner,released the following statement: "As it has to many East Texans, news of the death of Rep.Charlie Wilson came as a blow to me. His drive to free Afghanistanis a testament to the adage that one person can make a difference.His prescient desire to help rebuild that nation will long beremembered by all who seek to win the peace that must inevitablyfollow conflict. Karla and I will keep Mrs. Wilson in our thoughtsand prayers. To our departed friend and fellow Democrat,Godspeed."
Gov. Perry released a statement on Wilson's death: "Charlie Wilson led a life that was over-sized even byHollywood’s standards. Congressman Wilson was fiercelydevoted to serving his country and his fellow Texans. Anita and Iextend our sincere condolences and prayers to his family andfriends."
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.
Travis County non-profit Center for Child Protection will benefit next March from an all day fundraiser at the Circuit of the Americas that will see plenty of donors racing on the track.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Santa visited Austin early on Sunday, joining hundreds of motorcyclists for their annual Toy Run.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.