A look back at the best of John Boehner

Story highlights

  • Boehner is known for leaving a few tears on the House floor and for wearing his heart on his sleeve
  • As Speaker, he faced many challenges working with conservatives

Washington (CNN)Speaker of the House John Boehner announced Friday he will be leaving Congress at the end of October.

The Ohio Republican is also known for leaving a few tears on the House floor and for wearing his heart on his sleeve, especially when it comes to talking about his "American Dream." Growing up in Cincinnati as the son of a bartender and the second of twelve children, Boehner's ambitions took him to Washington.
As Speaker, he faced many challenges working with conservatives through a government shutdown and most recently over pressure to defund Planned Parenthood.
    He had a colorful way of responding to reporter's questions, from declaring "dealing with the White House is like dealing with a bowl of Jell-O" to calling the Democrats' tax plan "chicken crap."
    But with the tough love also came the kisses and the tears. His response to a reporter's question about what he would do about a funding bill was to blow air kisses that sent the press corps into fits of giggles. Many remember a weeping Boehner thanking his family after being re-elected for his third team as Speaker this year despite attempts to unseat him.
    Boehner, who was part of the effort that led Republicans to an overwhelming House majority in 2010, told colleagues of his decision to resign. Boehner said he originally planned to serve as Speaker until the end of last year. He made his decision to end his tenure on a high note after Pope Francis's historic visit to Congress, a visit Boehner worked for years to make happen.