Sunday, January 4, 2015

Former U.S. Sen. Edward W. Brooke, moderate Republican and 1st black popularly elected to US Senate, dies at 95

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Former U.S. Sen. Edward W. Brooke, a liberal Republican who became the first black in U.S. history to win popular election to the Senate, died Saturday. He was 95. Brooke died of natural causes at his Coral Gables, Florida, home, said Ralph Neas, a former Brooke aide. Brooke was surrounded by his family. Brooke was elected to the Senate in 1966, becoming the first black to sit in that branch from any state since Reconstruction and one of nine blacks who have ever served there — including Barack Obama.

NOTE: On June 23, 2004, President George W. Bush awarded Brooke the Presidential Medal of Freedom. On April 29, 2006, the Massachusetts Party awarded the first annual "Edward Brooke Award" to former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card at their 2006 State Convention.

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Edward Brooke: Why Republican