Conrad Burns

Former US Sen. John Melcher of Montana dies at 93

Former U.S. Sen. John Melcher, a Montana Democrat who narrowly lost a bid for a third term in 1988 just days after a wilderness bill he championed was vetoed, has died. He was 93.

Daughter Joan Melcher said her father died peacefully Thursday at home in Missoula in a chair overlooking Rattlesnake Creek.

She recalled that he had always applied his deliberate nature to his political career.

"He was thoughtful about his votes and the things he supported," Joan Melcher said. "He wanted to see how it would impact everybody, and not just a few people."

Melcher's 35-year career included seven years in the U.S. House and then two terms in the U.S....