The decade's most triggering comedy
Ken Starr, a former federal judge who later led the investigation that resulted in former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, died on Tuesday. He was 76.
Starr died in Houston at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center of complications from surgery, according to a statement from his family.
Starr was appointed as a judge to the federal courts by former President Ronald Reagan and he served as Solicitor General under George H.W. Bush.
Starr was best known for his role as independent counsel in the Whitewater investigation into the Clintons, which started out focusing on real estate investments and ended up with Clinton’s impeachment after the House charged him with perjury and obstruction of justice for lying about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
At 37, the former federal judge became the youngest person to ever serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and many thought Starr would eventually end up on the Supreme Court. Starr’s investigation of Clinton, however, likely ended any hopes of his appointment to the nation’s highest court.
During the investigation, the White House painted Starr as a right-wing fanatic who was investigating Clinton at the behest of Republicans. “The assaults took a toll,” Starr said of the Clinton administration’s attempts to taint his work. “A duly authorized federal law enforcement investigation came to be characterized as yet another political game. Law became politics by other means.”
Starr is survived by his wife of 52 years, Alice Mendell Starr. He is also survived by his three children, Randall P. Starr, Carolyn S. Doolittle, and Cynthia S. Roemer, and nine grandchildren: Grace, Christiana, Hewson, and Sandhana Doolittle; William and Charlotte Starr; and Sienna, Madison, and Colton Roemer, the family said. Starr is also survived by his sister, Billie Jeayne Reynolds, and brother, Jerry Starr.
“We are deeply saddened with the loss of our dear and loving Father and Grandfather, whom we admired for his prodigious work ethic, but who always put his family first,” Randall said. “The love, energy, endearing sense of humor, and fun-loving interest Dad exhibited to each of us was truly special, and we cherish the many wonderful memories we were able to experience with him. He is now with his Lord and Savior.”
Zach Jewell contributed to this report.