Prominent Washington lawyer and lobbyist Thomas H. Boggs Jr. died Monday at his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland at the age of 73.

For 40 years, Boggs was at the heart of Washington politicking and was one of the capital's most influential lobbyists. He died of an apparent heart attack, according to his sister, the journalist Cokie Roberts, The Washington Post reported.

Tommy Boggs, as he was known to colleagues, rose to prominence with firm Patton Boggs and was long one of Washington's wealthiest lobbyists. He reportedly made $40 million last year in lobbying fees.

Patton Boggs helped save automaker Chrysler from bankruptcy, helped persuade Congress in 1980 to approve federal loan guarantees of up to $1.5 billion, assisted in the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act that allowed commercial banks to combine with brokerage firms, among many other things.

Boggs was reputed to be one of the most connected lobbyists in Washington, able to reach powerful people and sway their opinion.

"The best lobbyist in Washington is a member of Congress who agrees with you and is willing to lobby for you," he once said in an interview. "He may not want to play a front role if he has a constituency that is against what you are trying to get him to do, but your best bet is still to try to convince a member to be your lobbyist."

Boggs came from a background of politics in which his father, a Louisiana Democrat, rose to U.S. House majority leader before he died in a plane crash over Alaska in 1972. Boggs' mother won the special election for her husband's seat and served nine terms in Congress.

Boggs graduated from Georgetown University law school in 1965 and entered the law and lobbying business soon after. He once ran for Congress, representing Maryland, but was not elected.

Earlier this year, Patton Boggs merged with Squire Sanders, an international law firm, The Wall Street Journal reported. Patton Boggs had been struggling financially and Boggs had been named a partner of the merged firm, Squire Patton Boggs.