John Paul Hammerschmidt, 92, the longtime Arkansas congressman who defeated Bill Clinton in the former president's first race for political office, died early Wednesday.

Mr. Hammerschmidt spent two decades in Congress before retiring in 1993.

Mr. Hammerschmidt was elected to Congress in 1966, becoming Arkansas' first Republican congressman since Reconstruction. Eight years later, he defeated Clinton for reelection, handing the future president one of only two political defeats.

During his 26 years in Congress, he sponsored legislation creating the Buffalo National River, protecting the area from overdevelopment.    - AP