Edward Brooke died of natural causes at his home in Coral Gables, Florida on Saturday, January 3.
Edward Brooke, the first black person to be popularly elected into the US Senate, has died at the age of 95, former aide, Ralph Neas said.
Brooke died of natural causes at his home in Coral Gables, Florida on Saturday, January 3.
The former Massachusetts Senator was a liberal Republican and was elected into the Senate in 1966. The only black Senators before him were two men who had been chosen by state legislatures in the 1870s.
Brooke served for two terms and was one of the most prominent political figures in Massachusetts for a large part of 12-year tenure.
The late Senator had said in 2008 that he was “thankful to God” that he lived to see Barack Obama become the first black president of the US.
Obama said in a statement:
“Senator Brooke 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.”
Brooke was awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a White House ceremony in 2004 and the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest award for civilians, in October 2009.
Edward Brooke is survived by a wife, Anne and three children, Remi, Edwina and Edward.