, the former United States senator from Pennsylvania, passed away on Sunday morning at his home in Philadelphia. Specter left his family and friends at the age of 82. The senator spent time in both parties: he was a Democrat till 1965, then a Republican from 1965 until 2009, after 2009 he shifted back to the Democratic Party. First elected in 1980, he represented his state for 30 years in the Senate.
Specter had been deteriorating for quite a long time. He was diagnosed with an advanced form of Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer, in 2005. Despite his poor health, Specter continued to work even during his chemotherapy. Unfortunately, three years later his cancer returned at a stage significantly less advanced than his Hodgkin's disease when it was originally diagnosed. He had to undergo chemotherapy again.
He was hospitalized in August and released from a Philadelphia hospital earlier this month. Specter had to continue taking his treatment. Unfortunately his cancer caused more complications and he lost his life from lymphoma, according to his son Shanin.
Specter was a part of American public life for more than four decades. He had also served as a great lawyer for Warren Commission. He was known to have the sharpest legal mind in the Senate. That’s where he led the Judiciary Committee through a turbulent time even during his poor health.
President Obama has given out a statement on Specter’s sad demise. He said, “Arlen Specter was always a fighter,” “fiercely independent,” and cited his “toughness and determination” in dealing with his personal health struggles.
Specter wanted to fight back for the Senate in 2010, and expressed his plans to run again. On March 18, 2009, Specter said that he was not considering running as an independent. He said, "To eliminate any doubt, I am a Republican, and I am running for reelection in 2010 as a Republican on the Republican ticket." In early 2010 the Pennsylvania Democratic Party overwhelmingly endorsed Specter at the Democratic State Committee's annual endorsement convention, which was held in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Specter happens to be one of those Republicans who supported the party even during its tough times. His contribution for the country will always be respected and his name will always be remembered as one of the wisest senators of US politics.