Ken Starr, Prosecutor Who Led Clinton Impeachment Investigation, Dead at 76

·2 min read
Ken Starr answers questions during a discussion held at the American Enterprise Institute
Ken Starr answers questions during a discussion held at the American Enterprise Institute

Win McNamee/Getty

Ken Starr, the independent counsel who spearheaded the impeachment investigation into former President Bill Clinton, has died. He was 76.

Starr died of complications from surgery at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center in Houston, Texas, 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," Starr's son, Randall, said in the statement on behalf of him and his sisters, Carolyn S. Doolittle and Cynthia S. Roemer.

"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," the statement continued.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell also paid tribute to Starr following his death.

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kenneth-starr.jpg

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"I am very sorry to learn of the passing of my friend Judge Ken Starr," he shared on Twitter. "He was a brilliant litigator, an impressive leader, and a devoted patriot."

After being appointed by a federal appeals panel in 1994, Starr — a conservative Republican — led the Whitewater investigation which probed the real estate investments of Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton. The investigation later expanded to include the then-president's affair with Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern, according to CNN.

In light of his investigation, Clinton was impeached on perjury and obstruction of justice charges by the House although he was acquitted on all charges by the Senate, the outlet reported.

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Starr also served as a member of former President Trump's legal defense team during his Senate impeachment trial in 2020.

Starr was also the president of Pepperdine University from 2004 to 2010 and later became the 14th president of Baylor University from 2010 to 2016.

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"Judge Starr had a profound impact on Baylor University, leading a collaborative visioning process to develop the Pro Futuris strategic vision in 2012 that placed Baylor on the path to where we are today as a Christian Research 1 institution," Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone said in a statement.

"Baylor University and the Baylor Family express our deepest sympathies to Alice Starr and her family, and our prayers remain with them as they mourn the loss of a husband, father and grandfather," Livingstone continued.