Former Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson, whose name became familiar outside political circles because of George Crile’s 2003 book, “Charlie Wilson’s War,” as well as director Mike Nichols’ big-screen adaptation, died Wednesday at age 76 in Lufkin, Texas.

Reuters via Google News:

Wilson served 12 consecutive terms in the House of Representatives, and was known as the “Liberal from Lufkin,” the town in mostly conservative east Texas where he lived.

He had complained of chest pains on Wednesday and was pronounced dead when he arrived at Memorial Health System of East Texas in Lufkin, the hospital said in a statement.

As a long-time member of the House Appropriations Committee, Wilson quietly helped steer billions of dollars to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, which distributed the funds to buy Afghan fighters high-tech weapons like Stinger missiles used to shoot down Soviet helicopter gunships.

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