For the first time in 50 years, the U.S. Senate will be without Robert Byrd of West Virginia. Byrd, the longest-serving senator in U.S. history, died on Monday at the age of 92. “I am saddened that the family of U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., tearfully announces the passing of the longest serving member of Congress in U.S. history,” Byrd’s office said in a statement. The senator was hospitalized last week for dehydration. Byrd served 50 years in the Senate and held virtually every major leadership post in that time. Earlier in his career, he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and filibustered the civil-rights bill; later, he was one of the most outspoken critics of the war in Iraq. He had never lost an election since first running for statewide office 1946.
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