In a statement made by Chairwoman Kirsten Hughes of the Massachusetts Republican Party, it was confirmed that former United States Senator Edward W. Brooke has passed away at age 95. Brooke, the first African-American Senator to be elected since the Reconstruction era, served from 1967-1979. In 1962, he became the first African-American Attorney General in the country. Over the years, he has received multiple honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom as well as the Congressional Gold Medal.
Brooke was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, having double mastectomy surgery, and has remained active. In 2006, Bridging the Divide, his autobiography, was published. His terms in office broke barriers in race relations not because he was a civil rights campaigner, but because he was determined to represent his entire constituency, and not just one part of it. He was a skilled politician, and a crusader against corruption at any level of government. He won elections in a state where just 2 percent of voters were African-American, making the point that race was not as important as ability and dedication.
Brooke has left behind his wife Anne, his daughters Edwina and Remi, and his son, Edward IV. He is the subject of memorials around Massachusetts and the country today, as so many remember the man and his great legacy.
By Jim Malone