(CNN) -

Former U.S. House Speaker Tom Foley has died, his wife Heather confirmed Friday.

Foley, 84, was a a Democrat who represented Washington state in the House for 30 years and served as speaker from 1989 to January 1995.

Before his role as speaker, he served as House Majority Leader and was an influential member of the Select House Committee on Iran Contra.

He had been in ill health in recent months, the Washington Post reported.

In 1994, he was the first speaker in more than a century to be defeated in re-election for his congressional seat, the Post reported. Foley later served as ambassador to Japan under President Bill Clinton, the Post report said.

Notable deaths of 2013

POSTED: 2:55 PM Jan 30 2013   UPDATED: 2:37 PM Jan 01 2014

From beloved world leaders to sports legends, take a look at the notable deaths of 2013.

Tony Lip
1 / 111
HBO.com

Jan. 4: Tony Lip, actor ("The Sopranos," "The Godfather," "GoodFellas")