BOISE --Former U.S. Senator James McClure diedSaturday at his Boise home. His family says he died of complications from a series of strokes.
McClure, who was bornand raised inIdaho, made an impact both at home and in Washington, D.C.
The Republican was a congressman from 1967 to 1972 and U.S. senator from 1973 to 1990.
He served on a committee that investigated the Iran-Contra affair during the Reagan administration
My objective is to find out what happened and tell the American public as much about that as we can, McClure said backin 1986.
Hewasalsowell-known as a champion of issues involving energy and natural resources. His efforts led to the creation of the federal Department of Energy, bolstered the state's mining and timber industries andeven helped establish the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.
Patrick Sullivan oversaw McClure's Idaho offices for years and worked closely with him. He said in Washington, D.C., McClure was extensively involved in a lot of major issues facing the nation and was often contacted by presidents for his insight and common-sense approach.
And although he was considered a big deal there, Sullivan said the senator remained an honest, down-to-earth man.
After he left the Senate, we would get together out at his house on a fairly regular basis, Sullivan said. And he would talk about the family and he called us the family: wanted to know what we were doing, how our children are doing. He was a great man.
McClure graduated from the University of Idaho, where a public policy research center is named after him and his wife.The director of that center called him a true statesman.
Jim McClure will always be remembered for his willingness to extend a hand across the aisle to try to achieve solutions to the problems confronting America, said Dr. David Adler of the James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research.
In a statementabout McClure's passing, President M. Duane Nellis said: The University of Idaho joins the state and nation in mourning the passing of Senator Jim McClure. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to his wife, Louise, and the family.
Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo were fond of Sen. McClure and said he set an example for lawmakers.
Jim McClure was one of the most civil human beings that you will ever meet. As you know in the legislative process things frequently get heated, people get anxious and combative and Jim never fell into that at all, said Sen. Jim Risch.
He talked about how important it was to develop bi-partisan solutions in the Senate and really has always been there for me as a mentor and a role model and I really appreciated it throughout the years, said Sen. Mike Crapo.
McClurewas 86. Heis survived by his wife and three adult children.
A funeral service is expected to be held Saturday at the Cathedral of the Rockies at 2 p.m. The service is still in the planning stages, so that time is subject to change.
It is unknown at this time who will be invited, or if the public will be allowed to attend.