Former Illinois senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Charles Percy passed away on Saturday morning at 91, having struggled with Alzheimer's disease in recent years. Percy's life was tremendously successful. He became president of the motion-picture manufacturer Bell & Howell at the age of 29 and went on to tackle politics in his later years. In 1966, he was sworn into office as Illinois senator less than two months after his daughter Valerie was brutally and inexplicably murdered (the perpetrator was never caught). The crime haunted the nation and the city of Chicago, and despite Percy's numerous accomplishments, it is often what residents of Chicago first think of when he comes to mind. When Percy won his Senate seat, the public buzzed that the "New Breed" Republican could be a potential presidential candidate. Even Dwight D. Eisenhower had high hopes, but Percy's semiliberal views were shredded by conservatives like Richard Nixon.
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