Ken Starr, the prosecutor who led the Whitewater investigation into former President Bill Clinton, has died aged 76.
Starr died on Tuesday at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston due to complications from surgery.
“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 P. Starr, said in a statement.
“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.”
Starr, a venerated lawyer and Republican operative, was best known for his role as the independent counsel in the Whitewater affair.
Appointed in 1994 to probe a shadowy land deal involving Democrat President Bill Clinton’s tenure as governor of Arkansas, Starr widely expanded the probe.
The investigation snowballed from Clinton’s involvement in the failed real estate venture to misconduct in the White House travel office, the unauthorized obtaining of FBI personnel files by senior administration staffers, and finally the president’s affair with an intern named Monica Lewinsky.
Starr often told reporters and pundits that he was compelled to take the Whitewater appointment because of principle.
“Truth is a bedrock concept in morality and law,” he often said.
Starr leaves behind his wife, Alice Mendell Starr, three children, and nine grandchildren, his family said.
He will be buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.
“I will remember Ken Starr as a devoted personal friend and a man of sincere and deep faith,” his family’s statement said.
“Thank you, Ken, for your love of God, your love of family, and your love for all of us.
“You will always be remembered in American history, but you will be specifically remembered in our hearts.”