Former longtime Republican Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter died on Sunday of complications from cancer at his Philadelphia home. He was 82.
Specter, who was considered a moderate within his own party, quit his the Republican party to become a Democrat in 2010 before losing his reelection bid. He spent more than 30 years as a U.S. senator.
President Barack Obama described Specter as “a fighter,” according to a White House statement.
“From his days stamping out corruption as a prosecutor in Philadelphia to his three decades of service in the Senate, Arlen was fiercely independent – never putting party or ideology ahead of the people he was chosen to serve,” Obama said in the statement. “He brought that same toughness and determination to his personal struggles, using his own story to inspire others.”
His son, Shanin, confirmed with The New York Times that his death was caused by complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Over the years, Specter had battled Hodgkin’s disease, a brain tumor, and survived cardiac arrest.
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