Longest-serving Senator dies at 92

West Virginia Democrat Robert Byrd, who joined the Senate during the Eisenhower Administration, died last night at the age of 92. In a statement, Pennsylvania Democrat Bob Casey said, “Senator Robert Byrd has not only been an institution in the Senate over the last fifty years, he also made it his charge to protect its integrity and document its history. Senator Byrd always put the interests of his constituents and his state of West Virginia first. Terese and I will keep Senator Byrd and his family in our prayers.”

Democrat Arlen Specter, who served alongside Byrd for three decades, added, ““the nation has lost a great public servant today.  Senator Robert Byrd’s contributions to the Senate and devotion to his home of West Virginia are without parallel and his passing will leave a great void.  Joan and I are deeply saddened by the news and we offer our condolences to the Byrd family.”

The New York Times and Washington Post have detailed obituaries posted. (I learned from the Times obit, for instance, that Byrd played the fiddle for voters during his first run for office.) The Post-Gazette’s Dan Malloy wrote a profile of Byrd earlier this year.

In addition to serving in the Senate for more than 50 years, Byrd wrote a detailed history of the chamber, and also published a series of speeches on the history of Rome’s Senate.

About pubradiopolitics
Scott covers state government and politics for Pennsylvania's public radio stations, including WITF in Harrisburg, WHYY in Philadelphia and WDUQ in Pittsburgh.

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