Obit

Murtha Dies After Surgery Complications

Representative John Murtha of Pennsylvania died after doctors "hit his intestines" during "routine minimally invasive surgery" to remove his gallbladder, a source close to the late congressman told CNN. Murtha, a longtime fixture on the House subcommittee that oversees Pentagon spending, was 77. In a written statement, President Obama said that Murtha had a "tough-as-nails reputation" and "a passion for service." Murtha was the first Vietnam War combat veteran elected to Congress, and he represented Pennsylvania's 12th district since 1974. He later became a vocal critic of the war in Iraq, calling for a "change in direction." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a longtime ally of Murtha's, said in a statement that he always put "the troops and their families first."