Former Texas Rep. Charlie Wilson Dies at 76

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DALLAS - Charlie Wilson, the former U.S. congressman from Texas whose funding of Afghanistan's resistance to the Soviet Union was chronicled in the movie "Charlie Wilson's War," has died. He was 76.

Wilson died Wednesday at Memorial Medical Center-Lufkin after he started having difficulty breathing while attending a meeting in the eastern Texas town where he lived, said hospital spokeswoman Yana Ogletree. Wilson was pronounced dead on arrival, and the preliminary cause of death was cardiopulmonary arrest, she said.

Wilson represented the 2nd district in east Texas in the U.S. House from 1973 to 1996 and was known as "Good Time Charlie" when he was in Washington.

Actor Tom Hanks portrayed Wilson in the 2007 movie about Wilson's efforts to arm Afghani mujahedeen during their war against the Soviet Union. Wilson, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, helped secure money for weapons.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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