NEW YORK (CNN) -- Clifton Maloney -- the 71-year-old husband of U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York -- died apparently from natural causes in Tibet during a mountain-climbing trip, a spokesman for the congresswoman told CNN Saturday.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, chairs the House Economic Committee.
"He summited the mountain at 27,000 feet," spokesman George Arzt said. "He went down to a base camp at 23,000 [feet]. He slept and never awakened."
Earlier, another Maloney spokesman had said her husband died in a "mountaineering accident."
The congresswoman was in New York at the time of the death. Arzt said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has asked the Chinese government to return Maloney's body to the United States.
Arzt said that, before he fell asleep, Maloney told a traveling companion, "I'm the happiest man in the world -- I just summitted a beautiful mountain."
Clifton Maloney was founder and president of C.H.W. Maloney & Co., Inc., a private investment firm established in 1981, according to his profile on Forbes.com. He also served as a vice president in investment banking at Goldman, Sachs & Co. from 1974 to 1984.
Carolyn Maloney, who has served in Congress since 1993, chairs the House Economic Committee. She, along with Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, sponsored a bill signed this year that makes it tougher for credit-card issuers to raise fees and interest rates.
Her district covers New York City. The Democratic lawmaker recently announced she was giving up a bid for the U.S. Senate.
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