Georgia Congressman Charlie Norwood Dies After Long Battle With Cancer

Rep. Charles Norwood, Jr., a seven-term Republican congressman from Georgia, died Tuesday after battling cancer and lung disease. He was 65.

Norwood died at his home in Augusta, Ga., early Tuesday afternoon, his office said. The House interrupted debate on an Iraq war resolution for a moment of silence in his honor.

Norwood suffered from a chronic lung disease and later developed metastatic cancer that spread from his lung to his liver. He had declined further treatment last week and returned home to Georgia to receive hospice care.

A feisty, tobacco-chewing conservative who loved to hunt and who railed against government bureaucracy, Norwood was part of the Republican wave that took control of Congress in 1994.

He came out of nowhere to beat Democratic incumbent Don Johnson, becoming the first Republican to represent that northeastern Georgia district since shortly after the Civil War.

Friends say Norwood had hoped to follow that by becoming Georgia's first Republican governor in the modern era. He also considered a Senate bid, but he deferred running statewide after he was diagnosed with the life-threatening lung disease in 1998.