US Sen. Robert Byrd Dies
According Jesse Jacobs, the family spokesman, Byrd died peacefully at around three in the morning at Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Virginia. Apparently, Byrd was already in the hospital since last week.
Initial diagnoses were heat exhaustion and severe dehydration, but other medical conditions also developed. Reports say Byrd’s health was not faring well for several years already.
The late senator, a Democrat, has been known for being a fiery orator versed in the classics and a hard-charging power broker who steered billions of federal dollars to the state of his Depression-era upbringing.
In the US, Byrd was the longest-serving senator in history for being on his seat for more than 50 years. He was the Senate’s majority leader for six of those years and was third in the line of succession to the presidency, behind House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“It has been my greatest privilege to serve with Robert C. Byrd in the United States Senate. I looked up to him, I fought next to him, and I am deeply saddened that he is gone,” fellow West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller said in a statement. “He leaves a void that simply can never be filled. But I am lifted by the knowledge of his deep and abiding faith in God, I have joy in the thought of him reunited with his dear [late wife] Erma.”