Rep. Silvio Conte of Massachusetts, the ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, died Friday following surgery earlier in the month to remove a blood clot in his brain. He was 69.

Conte died at 8:50 p.m. at the National Institutes of Health hospital in suburban Washington. The immediate cause of death was attributed to "extensive intracerebral bleeding," the congressman's office said in a statement.Conte, considered a liberal Republican, was known as an emotional and often humorous orator who sometimes delivered his speeches to the House in rhyme.

Conte underwent surgery Feb. 1 for the removal of a blood clot near the right side of his brain. His condition worsened Tuesday with additional bleeding, and doctors operated to remove an intracerebral hematoma, his office said.

Doctors believed that Conte's condition resulted from a blood disorder related to the progression of prostate cancer.