Kenneth Starr, best known for leading the independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton‘s scandals in the 1990s, is dead at 76.

He died from complications while undergoing surgery after being hospitalized for around four months, according to a statement from his family.

“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,” his son, Randall, wrote. “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.”

At 37, Starr became the youngest individual to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C., circuit, which is where many Supreme Court justices spend time before being nominated to the high court. He then served as solicitor general in the President George H.W. Bush administration.


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Starr rose to national prominence in 1994 as the independent counsel looking into Bill and Hillary Clinton‘s Whitewater real estate scandal. His work expanded into more Clinton scandals such as Paula Jones‘ allegations of sexual harassment against the President as well as Clinton’s infamous affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton was later impeached for lying under oath about relations with Lewinsky but was acquitted by the Senate.

He spent the next years dedicated to academia, which included a stint at Pepperdine University and a position serving as the president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Starr, a conservative, also represented former President Donald Trump in his 2020 impeachment trial for his role in the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack.

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