SO SAD: Edward Brooke First Elected US Black Senator Dies At 95

Edward Brooke, the first black senator to be
popularly elected in the US, has died aged 95,
Republican Party officials say.
Mr Brooke was elected to Congress in 1966 by
voters in Massachusetts at a time of widespread
racial unrest.
A former lawyer, he had also been the first
African-American to hold the post of attorney
general in any state when he was elected senator.
Two black senators before him were both picked
by state legislatures.
President Barack Obama said in a statement:
“Senator Brooke led an extraordinary life of public
“Ed Brooke stood at the forefront of the battle for
civil rights and economic fairness.”
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said: “I
have lost a friend and mentor.”
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said:
“Senator Brooke’s accomplishments remind us
that anything is possible in our country.”
Mr Brooke served in the Senate until 1979 and is
one of only nine African-Americans to do so,
including President Obama.
President Obama attended Mr Brooke’s reception
of the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009
Mr Brooke built a reputation as a Republican
liberal during his time in the Senate. He opposed
Republican President Richard Nixon and was the
first Republican senator to publicly call for Mr
Nixon’s resignation after the Watergate scandal.
He was instrumental in passing the Fair Housing
Act of 1968, which prohibited racial and religious
Mr Brooke was re-elected in 1972 by a huge
margin but by the time he ran for a third term,
he was involved in a divorce which attracted
national attention and raised questions about a
false financial statement he had made regarding
a $49,000 loan.
He lost his bid for the third term in 1978 and
returned to private law practice.
In 2002, Mr Brooke was diagnosed with b****t
cancer and became a national leader in raising
awareness of the disease in men, which occurs
much less frequently than in women. – BBC

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