Foley, Thomas (Stephen)(1929– ) U.S. representative; born in Spokane, Wash. A lawyer in Spokane, Foley was 35 when he defeated the Republican incumbent and entered congress in 1965. A Democratic reformer, he became chairman of the Agriculture Committee in 1974, party whip in 1980, and majority leader in 1986. Although a skilled party strategist, he did not always vote the Democratic party line and his preference for consensus cost him support on key bills. He served as Speaker of the House (1989–95).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.