Robert Byrd, 92, the conservative West Virginia Democrat who became the longest-serving member of Congress in history died at this morning.
A child of the West Virginia coal fields, Mr. Byrd rose from poverty of the Great Depression to be elected to the Senate an unprecedented nine times.
He was known for his oratory skills and took pride in being the Senate’s resident constitutional scholar.
Critics mocked him as the “prince of pork”, but Byrd labored long and hard over his career to try and make the lives of his constituents – some of the poorest in the US – better.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a fellow West Virginian in the Senate, said it was his “greatest privilege” to serve with Byrd. “I looked up to him, I fought next to him, and I am deeply saddened that he is gone,” Rockefeller said.