Edward Brooke Dies: Former US Senator Dead at 95

January 3, 2015 Updated: July 18, 2015

Former Sen. Edward Brooke, a Massachusetts Republican who was the first African-American senator elected to the Senate since the US reconstruction, has died.

The Boston Globe confirmed his death on Saturday. Kirsten Hughes, chairwoman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, told the paper of his death.

Per the Globe:

Mr. Brooke served in the Senate from 1967-1979. Elected attorney general in 1962 and reelected two years later, he was the first African-American to hold that office in any state.

There have since been six subsequent African-American senators: three Illinois Democrats, Carol Moseley Braun, Barack Obama, and Roland W. Burris; Massachusetts Democrat Mo Cowan, appointed to fill the seat of John F. Kerry; South Carolina Republican Tim Scott, and New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker.

According to Reuters:

Brooke, 95, was elected to Congress in 1966 by voters in Massachusetts at a time when the nation was gripped in racial unrest.

He was serving as the Massachusetts attorney general when he was elected to the U.S. Senate.

There had been two black senators shortly after the Civil War but until early in the 20th Century, senators were picked by state legislatures and not by popular vote.