WASHINGTON (CNN) — Edward Brooke–the first African-American to be popularly elected to the U.S. Senate–passed away Saturday, according to family spokesman Ralph Neas and the Massachusetts Republican Party. Brooke was 95.
Brooke served in the Senate from 1967-1979 and has often been heralded by both parties as a trailblazer. He is the only African-American to be elected to a second term and was the first black Republican elected to the Senate since Reconstruction.
President Barack Obama hailed Brooke as someone who led “an extraordinary life of public service.”
“As the first African-American elected as a state’s Attorney General and first African-American U.S. Senator elected after reconstruction, Ed Brooke stood at the forefront of the battle for civil rights and economic fairness. During his time in elected office, he sought to build consensus and understanding across partisan lines, always working towards practical solutions to our nation’s challenges,” the President said in…
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