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Henry Hyde, Pro-Life Champion, Knight, Dies


“Few in public life have served as well,” Supreme Knight says.

Former Congressman Henry Hyde


Henry Hyde


Former Congressman Henry Hyde “was the epitome of a Catholic gentleman,” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said Nov. 29, upon hearing of Hyde’s death at the age of 83.

“He was a proud brother Knight for 52 years, and throughout his long record of service in public office, his faith guided him at every step along the way."

The Knights of Columbus Board of Directors in August passed a resolution honoring Hyde.

“He was a dedicated defender of human life, and the Hyde Amendment, adopted in 1976, is the most important pro-life statute ever enacted by Congress,”  Anderson said. “The National Right to Life Committee estimated that the Hyde Amendment has saved at least 1 million lives since its passage.” The amendment banned federal funding for abortions.

“Had he done nothing else during his 32 year career in Congress, the Hyde Amendment would stand out as a singular accomplishment,” Anderson continued, “but as chairman of both the House Judiciary Committee and the House International Relations Committee, he showed himself to be even-handed and fair, even as he was a strong advocate for positions he believed in.  He will be remembered as one of the truly great Congressmen of his generation.”

Henry Hyde joined the Knights of Columbus in 1955, and was a member of Father McDonald Council 1911 in Elmhurst, Illinois.

President Bush awarded Hyde with the Presidential Medal of Freedom just a few weeks ago, on Nov. 5. Since he was too ill to travel, his son Bob accepted the award on his behalf.

 At the White House ceremony, the President said of him, “Henry Hyde spoke of controversial matters with intellectual honesty and without rancor.  He proved that a man can have firm convictions and be a favorite of Democrats and Republicans alike.”