Stand up for the facts!

Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke September 14, 2022

Ken Starr died because of surgery complications — not because of the Clintons

If Your Time is short

  • Ken Starr died in a Houston hospital from surgery complications. The Clintons didn’t kill him. 

The man who led investigations into the Clinton administration died Sept. 13, stirring up a longtime and unfounded conspiracy theory.

Ken Starr was the U.S. solicitor general whose investigations led to former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

 Starr’s death at age 76 quickly became fodder for folks who continue to promote the false conspiracy theory that Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton kill off their political enemies. 

"@BillClinton @HillayClinton finally got him!" read one tweet, misspelling Hillary Clinton’s Twitter handle. "At least they didn’t go with suicide this time!"

"RIP Ken Starr!" another said. "Can’t help but wonder if he was writing a Clinton/Whitewater tell-all."

Starr, a former federal appellate judge, attorney, and solicitor general for President George H.W. Bush, drew national headlines in the late 1990s for his investigation into Whitewater, an Arkansas land development venture involving the Clintons. His work led him to uncover of Bill Clinton’s affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky. 

Featured Fact-check

As The New York Times reported, Starr’s investigation found that Bill Clinton had tried to cover up the Lewinsky affair during an unrelated sexual harassment lawsuit and forced the former president to acknowledge he had lied under oath. In a 445-page report delivered to Congress in September 1998, Starr detailed 11 possible grounds for impeaching Clinton, including abuse of power, obstruction of justice and perjury.

The House of Representatives impeached Bill Clinton in December 1998, but the Senate acquitted him and he finished his second presidential term.


Despite this history, the Clintons didn’t kill Starr. 

He died from complications from a surgery at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston, his family said in a statement.

Mark Lanier, an attorney who worked with Starr, said Starr had been hospitalized in an intensive care unit for about four months and that he died at the hospital, Politico reported.

Starr’s wife, Alice, said in a text message to friends and supporters that "Ken was so very courageous, he never complained, and he continually expressed gratitude to all his nurses and doctors for their care," according to the Waco Tribune-Herald.

We rate claims that the Clintons killed him Pants on Fire! 


Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Ciara O'Rourke

Ken Starr died because of surgery complications — not because of the Clintons

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up