Harry Whittington, a Texas lawyer accidentally shot by former Vice President Dick Cheney, died Saturday morning at age 95, according to his family.
Whittington died peacefully at his home, his wife told The New York Times (NYT). He gained global fame in 2006 after he was unintentionally shot by Cheney during a hunting trip. Cheney had turned around to shoot a quail and ended up shooting Whittington in his face and body, causing serious injuries.
Harry Whittington, a lawyer who gained sudden global fame in 2006 as the unintended victim of a shotgun blast by former Vice President Dick Cheney, died early Saturday morning, his wife said. He was 95. https://t.co/hW5WY0uWzq
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 6, 2023
Whittington, a supporter of former President Bush, initially apologized to Cheney and took blame for the incident. He later revealed his injuries from the blast were worse than initially reported. (RELATED: REPORT: Alleged ISIS Member In The US Plotted To Assassinate George W. Bush)
He told The Washington Post (WaPo) in 2010 he had a mild heart attack, collapsed lung and pieces of lead stuck in his body. Cheney later apologized for the incident in his 2011 memoir, “In My Time.”
“I, of course, was deeply sorry for what Harry and his family had gone through,” Cheney wrote in the book, according to the NYT.
Whittington was born in Henderson, Texas, during the Great Depression. He worked odd jobs to pay for his undergraduate and law school education at the University of Texas, later setting up a legal practice in Austin focused on property rights, oil and gas leases, estate planning and trust management, WaPo reported.
He gained wealth and influence in Texas through his law practice and real estate investments, according to the outlet. Whittington also got involved with Republican politics as he supported small government and low taxes. He supported moderate Republicans against the Texas Democratic magnate led by former President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Whittington worked for numerous Republican campaigns, including the presidential campaigns of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Five different Texas governors appointed Whittington to state boards for his political works over the years.
Whittington pursued reforms on the Texas state prison board from 1979-85 in order to root out cronyism, drug scandals and prisoners disciplining other prisoners with the permission of wardens.
He later worked to support non-violent, disabled prison inmates. Whittington also fought the city of Austin for declaring eminent domain over a block of property his family owned, WaPo reported.
Whittington married his college sweetheart, Mercedes Baker Whittington, in 1950. He is succeeded by his wife, daughter Sally and six grandchildren.