Former Rep. Charlie Wilson Dies in Texas

Posted February 10, 2010 at 2:50pm

Former Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-Texas), who inspired the movie “Charlie Wilson’s War,” has died, the Lufkin Daily News reported Wednesday afternoon. He was 76.

Wilson died at 12:16 p.m. Central time on Wednesday after suffering cardiopulmonary arrest, according to Bryant Krenek, president and CEO of Memorial Health System of East Texas.

“Charlie was a giant,” longtime family friend Buddy Temple said. “We have lost a giant. There won’t be another like him.”

The book and then movie “Charlie Wilson’s War” was an account of Wilson’s efforts to funnel federal aid to rebels in Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion of the country in the early 1980s. Wilson’s effort is credited with helping the Afghans defeat the Soviet Union, which ultimately withdrew its troops.