Former legal giant Ken Starr, arguably best known for his independent counsel investigation of former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s that led to impeachment, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 76, Breitbart reported.
More recently, Starr was on the opposite side of an impeachment effort as he helped successfully defend former President Donald Trump from the first effort by Democrats to remove him from office in 2020.
Beloved by his family
According to a press release issued by Starr’s family, he died at “Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston of complications from surgery.”
The release noted that Starr was survived by his wife of 52 years, Alice Mendell Starr, along with their three children — Randall, Carolyn, and Cynthia — and nine grandchildren, as well as his sister and brother.
“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,” Randall said in a statement on behalf of the children and grandchildren. “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. He is now with his Lord and Savior.”
Per the family, Starr will be buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin following a private memorial service for his family at Antioch Community Church in Waco next weekend.
Lengthy and broad legal career
Starr’s legal career was about much more than just presidential impeachments, however, as he served as a top aide to the U.S. attorney general in the early 1980s prior to being appointed by then-President Ronald Reagan to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, after which he served as U.S. Solicitor General under then-President George H.W. Bush and argued more than two dozen cases before the Supreme Court.
Aside from his service to the federal government, Starr also worked for several private law firms, was a law professor, and served on numerous prestigious boards in addition to serving as Dean of Pepperdine Law School from 2004-2010 and as Chancellor and President of Baylor University from 2010-2016.
Starr was also an author who penned dozens of articles and several books about constitutional law with a particular focus on the importance of religious liberty.
Mixed responses to the news
“I just learned that the great and brilliant Ken Starr has, sadly, passed away,” former President Trump wrote in a post to Truth Social. “He was a true American Patriot who loved our Country and the Law. I so appreciated his support and his thoughts that our cause against fascists and other mentally sick people in our Country is just. He will be greatly missed. Melania and I send our warmest condolences to his wonderful family.”
Social media was awash in posts about Starr following the news of his death, including tributes from those on the right who admired and respected him as well as ghoulish celebrations of his demise from those on the left who hated him. Arguably the classiest response, however, came from none other than Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern whose life was virtually ruined after her affair with Clinton was exposed by Starr and the impeachment for perjury.
“As i’m sure many can understand, my thoughts about ken starr bring up complicated feelings … but of more importance, is that i imagine it’s a painful loss for those who love him,” Lewinsky tweeted.