Mike Mansfield

Died October 5th, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) - Mike Mansfield, who rose untutored from the mines of Montana to become the longest-serving majority leader in Senate history, died Friday. He was 98.

Mansfield had undergone surgery Sept. 7 to have a pacemaker implanted in his chest after complaining to friends of feeling weak. He died in Walter Reed Army Hospital at 7:35 a.m. EDT, said Charles Ferris, who was Mansfield's attorney and had served as his counsel when Mansfield led the Senate.

Mansfield served 34 years in Congress, including 15 as leader of the Senate's Democratic majority, from 1961 until his retirement from the Senate in 1976. Liberal, gentle, scholarly and expert in Asian affairs, he went on to become U.S. ambassador to Japan, serving two presidents.

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