Charlie Wilson Dead at 76
Charlie Wilson, the Congressman who became decidedly more famous in retirement than he ever was during his career, has died.
Charlie Wilson, the former U.S. congressman from Texas whose funding of Afghanistan’s resistance to the Soviet Union was chronicled in the movie “Charlie Wilson’s War,” has died. He was 76.
Wilson died Wednesday at Memorial Medical Center-Lufkin after he started having difficulty breathing while attending a meeting in the eastern Texas town where he lived, said hospital spokeswoman Yana Ogletree. Wilson was pronounced dead on arrival, and the preliminary cause of death was cardiopulmonary arrest, she said.
Wilson represented the 2nd district in east Texas in the U.S. House from 1973 to 1996 and was known as “Good Time Charlie” when he was in Washington.
Perhaps because the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan occurred when I was 14 or perhaps because Wilson’s role wasn’t particularly well known at the time, I had never heard of the man until the recent Tom Hanks biopic.
Danny O’Keefe’s much-covered classic “Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues” hit the charts in 1972, so I presume it has nothing whatever to do with Representative Wilson, who wouldn’t join Congress for a year. It is, however, a fine song. I especially recommend the Willie Nelson and Dwight Yoakam versions.