John Murtha bigraphy, stories - Recipient of the Purple Heart medal

John Murtha : biography

17 June 1932 - 08 February 2010

John Patrick "Jack" Murtha, Jr. ( June 17, 1932 – February 8, 2010) was an American politician from the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Murtha, a Democrat, represented Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1974 until his death in 2010.Obituary New York Times, 9 February 2010.Obituary Los Angeles Times, 9 February 2010.Obituary Washington Post, 9 February 2010.Obituary London Independent, 10 February 2010.

A former Marine Corps officer, Murtha was the first Vietnam War veteran elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. A member of the Pennsylvania House from 1969 to 1974, he narrowly won a special election to Congress in 1974 and was successively reelected every two years until his death. In the first decade of the 21st century, Murtha had been best known for his calls for a withdrawal of American forces in Iraq, as well as questions about his ethics.Jackson, Peter. "". (February 9, 2010) Retrieved February 11, 2010.

In 2006, after the Democrats won control of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections he made a failed bid to be elected House Majority Leader during the 110th Congress (2007–2009) with the open support of the new House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. He lost to Steny Hoyer of Maryland. After the Republican's defeat to the Democratic Majority in 2006 Murtha re-assumed his chairmanship of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. He had previously chaired this subcommittee from 1989 to 1995 and served as its ranking member from 1995 to 2007.

Political views

Murtha generally opposed gun control, earning an A from the National Rifle Association.

In 2004, he was one of only two congressmen to vote for a measure proposing reinstatement of the draft.

Murtha voted for the Affordable Healthcare for America Act (HR 3692), which passed in the House 220-215 on November 7, 2009.

He said of the bill, "For nearly a century, both Democrats and Republicans have failed to enact comprehensive health care reform. Today's historic vote moves us closer to solving America's health care crisis."  However, Murtha did not support allowing abortions as part of health care reform. He voted for the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to the health care bill that prohibits elective abortions for people covered by the public healthcare plan and to prohibit people receiving federal assistance from purchasing a private healthcare plan that includes abortions, except when the woman’s life is in danger. He also voted for a bill to prohibit pregnant minors from crossing state borders to obtain abortions. 

In August 2009, Murtha refused Republican challenger Tim Burns' invitation to attend a town hall meeting focused on healthcare (at the time, Murtha had not yet hosted a town hall meeting);

however, Murtha had held several conference call sessions with his constituents focused on healthcare. 

Murtha, a pro-life Democrat, did not receive favorable ratings from abortion and reproductive health interest groups.

Planned Parenthood, whose stated purpose is “to provide comprehensive reproductive and complementary health care,” gave him a rating of 50% in 2009. 
 He received a rating of 50% from the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, which advocates “access to voluntary, comprehensive and culturally sensitive family planning and reproductive health care services and ... reproductive freedom for all.”  


Murtha was born into an Irish-American family in New Martinsville, West Virginia, near the border with Ohio and Pennsylvania, and grew up in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, a largely suburban county east of Pittsburgh.

As a youth, he became an Eagle Scout. He also worked delivering newspapers and at a gas station before graduating from The Kiski School, an all-male boarding school in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania.

Murtha left Washington and Jefferson College in 1952 to join the Marine Corps and was awarded the American Spirit Honor Medal for displaying outstanding leadership qualities during training. He became a drill instructor at Parris Island and was selected for Officer Candidate School at Quantico, Virginia. He was then assigned to the Second Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. As an undergraduate, Murtha was initiated into the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine