TIME Congress

Former U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright Dies at 92

Former Speaker of the House Jim Wright speaks to visitors at his office on the TCU campus on May 5, 2014 in Fort Worth.
Ron Jenkins—Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS/Getty Images Former Speaker of the House Jim Wright speaks to visitors at his office on the TCU campus on May 5, 2014 in Fort Worth.

The Texas Democrat had served as the House Speaker from 1987 to 1989

(DALLAS) — Former U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright, the longtime Texas Democrat who became the first House speaker in history to be driven out of office in midterm, has died. He was 92.

The World War II veteran and author, often praised for his eloquence and oratorical skills, was living in a nursing home when he died early Wednesday morning, according to the Harveson and Cole funeral home in Fort Worth. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Wright represented a Fort Worth-area congressional district for 34 years, beginning with his election in 1954. He was the Democratic majority leader in the House for a decade, rising to the speakership in January 1987, to replace Tip O’Neill.

Although three House speakers had resigned before Wright stepped down in 1989, they all served during the 19th century — and none before him had been under fire and facing judgment in the House for breaking its ethics rules.

For nearly a year, the House Ethics Committee investigated Wright’s financial affairs at the prodding of a little-known Georgia congressman, Republican Newt Gingrich, who publicly branded Wright a “crook.” The bipartisan committee charged Wright with 69 violations of House rules on reporting of gifts, accepting gifts from people with an interest in legislation, and limits on outside income.

The committee accused Wright of scheming to evade limits on outside earnings by self-publishing a book, “Reflections of a Public Man,” he then sold in bulk. He was also accused of improperly accepting $145,000 in gifts over 10 years from a Fort Worth developer.

In response, Wright said he had not violated any House rules and vowed to fight the charges. But his support among fellow Democrats quickly eroded.

In a floor speech that ended with the announcement of his resignation on April 30, 1989, Wright called for an end to “mindless cannibalism” and decried what he called “this manic idea of a frenzy of feeding on other people’s reputation.”

His detractors contended that Wright resisted acknowledging his ethically dubious actions.

The Wright episode proved to be a harbinger of the rising partisanship within the House and the personal attacks between House members that would mark the chamber for much of the last quarter-century. Critics would say Wright himself had helped fuel the ill will between the parties by generally ignoring Republicans as he and other Democrats tended to House business.

House Republicans chose Gingrich as their whip just months before Wright’s resignation, and the Georgia congressman later became speaker for four years, beginning in 1995, until his own ethical lapses led to his departure.

James Claude Wright Jr. was born in Fort Worth on Dec. 22, 1922, the son of a professional boxer-turned-tailor. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, he left college to enlist in the U.S. Army and flew combat missions in the South Pacific, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Legion of Merit.

He served in the Texas House for one term, and at age 26 became mayor of Weatherford, his boyhood hometown. He served in that post for four years, from 1950 to 1954, before his first congressional victory.

Known as an eloquent speaker, Wright was a disciple of House Speaker Sam Rayburn, a fellow Texan. He also was a confidant of another Texan, Lyndon B. Johnson, who served in the Senate during Wright’s initial years in Congress before becoming vice president in 1961. Wright lost a special election to fill Johnson’s Senate seat that year.

Wright was in the presidential motorcade on Nov. 22, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

“To describe the depth of sadness that engulfed us that day defies vocabulary,” he once said, recalling how the friendly mood of the Dallas crowds turned to “sheer terror and horror.” His friend Johnson became president that day.

In his long House career, Wright was the author of major legislation in several fields but was most proud of his efforts on behalf of a “pay-as-we-go” interstate highway system and water conservation.

He helped President Jimmy Carter fashion the 1978 Camp David agreement that led to peace between Israel and Egypt, and he played a pivotal role in bringing about a negotiated settlement in Central America that later led to the 1990 elections in Nicaragua in which the leftist Sandinista government lost. Like many Democrats, he had opposed President Ronald Reagan’s emphasis on military pressure to fight Marxism there.

In his home state, Wright’s influence was felt long after he left office because of the Wright Amendment, which restricted direct commercial air travel from Love Field, near downtown Dallas, to nearby states. The amendment, passed in 1979, was designed to foster growth at the new Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. But in 2006, President George W. Bush signed legislation to repeal the amendment and loosen some flight restrictions. The amendment expired in October.

After leaving Congress, Wright made dozens of speeches around the country, particularly at universities, and was a consultant for a petroleum company. For nearly 20 years he taught a popular political science course at Texas Christian University.

In addition to writing a weekly column for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for more than 10 years, he wrote several books. “Worth It All: My War for Peace” (1993) looked at the U.S.-Nicaraguan/Central America peace effort. In 1996, he wrote “Balance of Power: Presidents and Congress from the Era of McCarthy to the Age of Gingrich,” and in 2005 he revisited the war years in “The Flying Circus: Pacific War — 1943 — as Seen Through a Bombsight.”

In 1991, Wright lost part of his tongue to cancer. He had more surgery in 1999 to remove and reconstruct parts of his jawbone and tongue when the cancer returned.

Associated Press writer Douglass K. Daniel contributed to this report.

TIME People

Why Freud Chose Nazi Germany Over America

Freud Behind His Desk
Authenticated News / Getty Images Portrait of Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939) in his study in Vienna, in the 1930s.

May 6, 1856: Sigmund Freud is born

His aversion to America was by no means unconscious: given the choice between safe passage to the United States and increasing oppression at the hands of the Nazis, Sigmund Freud chose to stick with the Nazis.

The father of psychoanalysis — born on this day, May 6, in 1856 — was in his early 80s and “tortured by advanced cancer of the jaw,” per TIME, when he turned down the invitation to the U.S. from a worried nephew who was a publicist in Manhattan.

But Freud was no longer safe in Vienna after the Nazi occupation, since the Gestapo was not only targeting Jews in general but psychoanalysts in particular; their fixation on the id’s uncivilized impulses seemed to the Nazis to undermine the dignity of the Volk. In 1933, mobs of Nazi sympathizers had burned Freud’s books, chanting, per The Atlantic, “Against the soul-destroying overestimation of the sex life ─ and on behalf of the nobility of the human soul, we offer the flames the writings of Sigmund Freud.”

After they took Vienna in 1938, the Nazis seized Freud’s money, property, and publishing house, by TIME’s account. Still, he preferred to shelter in place rather than seek asylum among the money-obsessed savages he believed comprised the American populace.

“America is gigantic,” he’s reported to have said, “but a gigantic mistake.”

It took the intervention of one of his star patients, Princess Marie Bonaparte, Napoleon’s great-granddaughter, to uproot him — and for London instead of New York. Bonaparte paid what amounted to ransom to secure Freud’s exit visas, and, according to the Daily Mail, “brokered a deal that enabled him to salvage his library, large sculpture collection, and celebrated couch.”

Freud was ultimately happy with the move, according to TIME, which describes his exile as an idyllic period, despite his near-constant pain:

In a comfortable London house near Regent’s Park, filled with his Greek and Egyptian treasures, Freud answers letters, continues his writing, even treats a few old patients. Every Sunday evening he settles down in the parlor, coddles his five young grandchildren, enjoys a lively card game called tarot with his sons. Always at his call is his nine-year-old chow dog, Lun. During his 16 years of suffering [from cancer], throughout his 15 operations, he has never uttered a word of complaint. Patient and resigned, secure in his fame, he spins out his last thoughts, and basks in the sun.

His wry sense of humor seems never to have abandoned him, either. According to the New York Times, the Nazis had allowed him to leave Austria on the condition that he sign a statement swearing that they had treated him well. He signed, but added a tongue-in-cheek comment offering more praise for German fascism than he’d ever mustered for American democracy: “I can most highly recommend the Gestapo to everyone.”

Read a 1939 cover story about Freud, here in the TIME Vault: Intellectual Provocateur

TIME People

Read Sheryl Sandberg’s Emotional Tribute to Her Late Husband David Goldberg

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and husband Dave Goldberg attending the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 9, 2014 in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Scott Olson—Getty Images Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and husband Dave Goldberg attending the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 9, 2014 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

"Dave was my rock"

Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook executive whose husband died suddenly on May 2, posted a moving tribute Tuesday to her late husband.

David Goldberg, the 47-year-old CEO of SurveyMonkey, died after suffering severe head trauma while exercising at a resort in Punta Mita, a state official in Mexico said this week, the Associated Press reports. He was found next to a treadmill in a pool of blood and later died at a hospital.

“We had 11 truly joyful years of the deepest love, happiest marriage, and truest partnership that I could imagine,” Sandberg wrote of Goldberg.

Sanberg also spoke movingly about her husband at a memorial service at Stanford University on Tuesday morning, growing tearful as she described their 11-year marriage. The service was led by the family’s rabbi and included a performance by Bono, who sang “One.”

See Sandberg’s full Facebook memorial post here:

Read next: Dave Goldberg and Sheryl Sandberg’s Unlikely Love Story

TIME People

David Goldberg Died of Head Trauma in Treadmill Accident

SurveyMonkey.com CEO Dave Goldberg Interview
David Paul Morris—Bloomberg/Getty Images David Goldberg, chief executive officer of SurveyMonkey.com LLC, is seen during a Bloomberg West Television interview in San Francisco, Calif. on May 27, 2014.

The cause of death was severe head trauma and hypovolemic shock, or bleeding

MEXICO CITY (AP) — SurveyMonkey CEO David Goldberg died of severe head trauma in an exercise accident in the Mexican resort town of Punta Mita, a Mexican state official said Monday.

Goldberg was found lying next to a treadmill on Friday at the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita near Puerto Vallarta.

The official said he left his room at about 4 p.m. to exercise, and family members went to look for him after he didn’t return. He was found at about 6:30 p.m. in one of the resort’s gymnasiums lying by a treadmill in a pool of blood, with a blow to the lower back of his head. He apparently had slipped on the treadmill and hit the machine, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak to the press.

The official said Goldberg still had vital signs when he was discovered, but later died at a hospital in Nuevo Vallarta.

The official said the cause of death was severe head trauma and hypovolemic shock, or bleeding.

The family had checked in on April 30 to the exclusive resort, where rooms start at $500 a night and villas go for up to $5,000 a night. The thatched roof resort nestled into a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean has an ocean-side infinity pool, golf course and rooms with hammocks and terraces opening out to the water.


Rick Santorum on Bruce Jenner: ‘If He Says He’s a Woman, Then He’s a Woman’

The former Senator has sparked past controversies over opposition to gay rights

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, whose past opposition to gay rights has sparked backlash from LGBT rights groups, spoke Saturday in support of Bruce Jenner after the Olympian and TV personality came out publicly as transgender.

Santorum told reporters at a Republican convention in South Carolina that “if [Jenner] says he’s a woman, then he’s a woman,” CBS News reports. “My responsibility as a human being is to love and accept everybody. Not to criticize people for who they are.” The former lawmaker is said to be eyeing a 2016 presidential bid after losing the 2012 Republican nomination to Mitt Romney.

“I can criticize, and I do, for what people do, for their behavior. But as far as for who they are, you have to respect everybody, and these are obviously complex issues for businesses, for society,” Santorum said. “And I think we have to look at it in a way that is compassionate and respectful of everybody.”

The politician’s support of Jenner’s transition arrives two weeks after Santorum made headlines for stating he would not attend a same-sex marriage of a friend or family member, as it would be a “a violation of [his] faith.”

[CBS News]

TIME People

Silicon Valley CEO David Goldberg Mourned by Friends and Colleagues

Mark Zuckerberg, Arianna Huffington and others have posted on social media about the beloved CEO

People are taking to social media to express their shock and condolences over the sudden death of David Goldberg, SurveyMonkey CEO and husband of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posted on the social networking site, saying Goldberg “was an amazing person and I’m glad I got to know him.”

Arianna Huffington said she was “blessed to get to know him through his beloved wife Sheryl and to see firsthand what an amazing father, son, innovator, and caring friend he was.”

Others tweeted their remembrances as well:

And many more are putting their thoughts and photos on Goldberg’s Facebook page, which is what his brother Robert requested when he confirmed news of Goldberg’s death.

TIME People

Silicon Valley CEO David Goldberg, Husband of Sheryl Sandberg, Dies Suddenly

He is survived by his wife, Sheryl Sandberg, and their two children

David Goldberg, Silicon Valley CEO and husband of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, died suddenly Friday night while exercising.

The 47-year-old CEO of SurveyMonkey collapsed in the gym of a private resort in Mexico, the New York Times reports. A person close to the family told the New York Times that efforts to revive Goldberg at the gym and at the hospital were unsuccessful.

Goldberg’s brother, Robert Goldberg, shared the news on Facebook.

“It’s with incredible shock and sadness that I’m letting our friends and family know that my amazing brother, Dave Goldberg, beloved husband of Sheryl Sandberg, father of two wonderful children, and son of Paula Goldberg, passed away suddenly last night,” Robert Goldberg wrote Saturday afternoon.

The post details how the family would like fans and friends of Goldberg to honor him: “In lieu of donations, we want to celebrate his life in a manner that respects the family’s privacy as they cope with this tragic, life changing event: Sheryl, their children, and our family would be grateful if people would post their memories and pictures of Dave to his Facebook profile.”

TIME royals

Why Princess Charlotte Is 4th in Line for the Throne

Sophia, Electress of Hanover
Hulton Archive/Getty Images Sophia, Electress of Hanover

Three hundred years ago, the new royal princess might not have been in the line of succession

The new royal princess, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, younger sister to the heir to the British throne, could ascend to the throne one day—but right now, she is fourth in line, after grandfather Prince Charles, father Prince William and her older brother George.

But had it not been for a now-obscure 1701 law, the baby might not have been royal at all, much less fourth in line for the throne. The ancestor that the royal baby has to thank for its place in the line of succession is Sophia, Electress of Hanover.

Here’s what happened: as explained by the official website of the British monarchy, the late 17th century wasn’t exactly a stable time in England. King James II had created some major disgruntlement by converting to Catholicism—the King of England is the head of the (Protestant) Church of England, so that was a problem—and ended up fleeing the country. His daughter, Mary II, and her husband, William of Orange (William III), were Protestant, and ended up being given the throne by Parliament.

Around that time, as that side of James II’s family took the throne—rather than the Catholic children produced by his second marriage—Parliament passed a bill that was an attempt to settle who would inherit the throne, in order to avoid future revolutions and wars, which had tended to happen whenever that question didn’t have a clear answer.

Except the people to whom the law applied didn’t exactly cooperate by producing heirs. By 1700, Mary was dead and William was sick. Mary’s sister Anne, who was next in line as the oldest Protestant child of James II, had no more surviving children.

So Parliament made another law, the Act of Settlement of 1701, that said that the heirs of James I’s granddaughter, Sophia of Hanover, would be the heirs to the throne. When Queen Anne died in 1714, Sophia’s son became King George I. George I’s great-great-great-granddaughter was Queen Victoria, whose great-great-granddaughter is the current Queen Elizabeth.

But were it not for that 1701 act, the Catholic children of James II might have made a claim to the throne—at least, that’s what the people who wrote the act worried—and the new baby would have been just a random, extremely distant cousin of the actual royals.

But the Act of Settlement isn’t the only law that affects the young princess’ place in line. Until recently, she could have been bumped down if she ever had a younger brother. In 2011, the Act of Settlement was tweaked before Prince George’s birth, to ensure succession would not be affected by gender or by marriage to a Catholic. (Previously, daughters came to the throne only when there were no sons available.)

Even so, the monarch is still prohibited from being Catholic him or herself—something that has drawn criticism from those who wanted the reforms to go even further.

TIME People

How the World Learned of Hitler’s Death

May 7, 1945
Cover Credit: BORIS ARTZYBASHEFF The May 7, 1945, cover of TIME

"If he were indeed dead, the hope of most of mankind had been realized," TIME observed. "For seldom had so many millions of people hoped so implacably for the death of one man."

It wasn’t immediately clear what had happened on April 30, 1945. This much the world knew: Adolf Hitler was gone, one way or another.

The week after, TIME ran a list of his “many deaths,” the theories of his survival or defeat. Some said he had actually been killed the year before. Some said he was on his way to Japan. One captured Nazi actually got it right, telling the world that Hitler, along with his wife, had committed suicide. By that July, TIME had an account, from his one-time chauffeur, of how the bodies had been removed from the underground bunker and burned; the cause of death was a bullet to the head, the chauffeur said. However, the Russian authorities who were conducting the investigation insisted that there had still been no concrete evidence of his death, that Hitler might still be alive out there somewhere. Decades later, in 1968, a book published by a former Soviet intelligence officer attested that the Russians had found the body and done an autopsy, confirming his identity with dental records and showing that the real cause of death was cyanide.

But, back in 1945, as May began and the end of war in Europe was finally certain, as Allied troops liberated the suffering remnants of the people who had been the dictator’s targets, as his followers cast about for someone to blame — back then, in many ways, the details of what had happened didn’t really matter. It was enough to know that it was over.

In honor of that end, that week was the occasion for TIME’s iconic crossed-out Hitler cover — the first instance of a motif that has been repeated for other historic villains, like Osama bin Laden — and a meditation on his life, how he came to power and what the world would be like now that he was out of it:

…Adolf Hitler had been buried, dead or alive, in the rubble of his collapsing Third Reich. Whether or not he had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage (as reported from Stockholm), or had “fallen in his command post at the Reich chancellery” (as reported by the Hamburg radio, which said that he had been succeeded as Führer by Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz), or was a prisoner of Gestapo Chief Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Hitler as a political force had been expunged. If he were indeed dead, the hope of most of mankind had been realized. For seldom had so many millions of people hoped so implacably for the death of one man.

If they had been as malign as he in their vengefulness, they might better have hoped that he would live on yet a little while. For no death they could devise for him could be as cruel as must have been Hitler’s eleventh-hour thoughts on the completeness of his failure. His total war against non-German mankind was ending in total defeat. Around him, the Third Reich, which was to last 1,000 years, sank to embers as the flames fused over its gutted cities. The historic crash of what had been Europe’s most formidable state was audible in the shrieks of dying men and the point-blank artillery fire against its buckling buildings.

All that was certain to remain after 1,000 years was the all but incredible story of the demonic little man who rose through the grating of a gutter to make himself absolute master of most of Europe and to change the history of the world more decisively than any other 20th-century man but Lenin. Seldom in human history, never in modern times, had a man so insignificantly monstrous become the absolute head of a great nation. It was impossible to dismiss him as a mountebank, a paper hanger. The suffering and desolation that he wrought was beyond human power or fortitude to compute. The bodies of his victims were heaped across Europe from Stalingrad to London. The ruin in terms of human lives was forever incalculable. It had required a coalition of the whole world to destroy the power his political inspiration had contrived.

Read the full story, here in the TIME Vault: The Betrayer

TIME People

Sofia Vergara’s Ex-Fiancé Says Leaving Embryos Frozen Is Like ‘Killing Them’

Nick Loeb Sofia Vergara Frozen Embryo
Jason Merritt—Getty Images Nick Loeb (L) and actress Sofia Vergara attend the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Vergara's attorney said the actress has no desire to have children with her ex

Nick Loeb, the ex-fiancé of actress Sofia Vergara, has defended his legal battle to gain control of the couples’ frozen embryos.

“Shouldn’t a man who is willing to take on all parental responsibilities be similarly entitled to bring his embryos to term even if the woman objects?” Loeb wrote in a New York Times op-ed, in opposition to Vergara’s desire to keep the embryos frozen indefinitely.

“In my view, keeping them frozen forever is tantamount to killing them,” he wrote.

Vergara, who is now married to actor Joe Manganiello, had expressed earlier this month that she is “content to leave the embryos frozen indefinitely as she has no desire to have children with her ex, which should be understandable given the circumstances,” according to a statement from her attorney.

Loeb’s suit seeks to void a California law that requires both parties’ consent in order to carry the frozen embryos to term because the law does not specify what would happen if the parties were to separate, according to Loeb.

“Many have asked me: Why not just move on and have a family of your own? I have every intention of doing so,” Loeb wrote. “But that doesn’t mean I should let the two lives I have already created be destroyed or sit in a freezer until the end of time.”

Read the rest of Loeb’s op-end at the Times

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