WASHINGTON — Robert Gingrich, father of House Speaker Newt Gingrich, died Wednesday, about six weeks after being diagnosed with lung cancer and just hours before his son was renominated speaker. The retired Army officer was 71.
Newt Gingrich said in his acceptance speech, "This is a bittersweet day for me. My father died this morning. It's made more complex because this is also my mother's birthday."
An adopted son, Gingrich said he recently visited his father in the Harrisburg, Pa., hospital where he died. The elder Gingrich believed "duty, honor, country were more than words, they were a way of life," his son said.
Robert Gingrich enlisted in the Army in 1945, served in the Vietnam and Korean wars, rose to lieutenant colonel and received numerous military awards.