Edward Brooke, First African-American Popularly Elected to Senate, Dies at 95

Edward W. Brooke III, who made history in 1966 when he became the first African-American to be elected to the U.S. Senate by popular vote, died on Saturday of natural causes. He was 95. Brooke won a seat in the Senate by almost half a million votes in 1966 as a liberal Republican in Democratic Massachusetts. He was re-elected in 1972 and “remains the only black senator ever to have been returned to office,” notes the New York Times. Growing up in Washington, Brooke went on to serve in the Army during World War II before building a political career in Massachusetts, where he became the attorney general before winning the Senate election.



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