"edward brooke"The first black senator to ever be elected in the US, Edward Brooke, has died aged at the age of 95, according to Republican Party officials.

Edward Brooke was first elected to a position in Congress back in 1966 by voters in Massachusetts during a time of widespread racial unrest a made history in US politics by doing so.

Brooke was previously a lawyer and he had also been the first African-American to hold the post of attorney general in any state when he was elected senator.

Two black senators before him were both picked by state legislatures.

According to a report by the BBC President Barack Obama said in a statement: “Senator Brooke led an extraordinary life of public service.

“Ed Brooke stood at the forefront of the battle for civil rights and economic fairness.”

Adding to the messages Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said: “I have lost a friend and mentor.”

While Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said: “Senator Brooke’s accomplishments remind us that anything is possible in our country.”

Edward Brooke served in the Senate until 1979 and is one of only nine African-Americans to do so, including President Obama, demonstrating the lack of racial diversity at the top of politics in America.

During his time in office Edward Brooke built a reputation as a Republican liberal during his time in the Senate. He was known for being opposed to Republican President Richard Nixon and was the first Republican senator to publicly call for Mr Nixon’s resignation after the Watergate scandal.

He was also seen as instrumental in passing the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which prohibited racial and religious discrimination.

In 1972, Ed Brooke was re-elected  by a huge margin, however by the time he ran for a third term, he was involved in a divorce which attracted national attention and raised questions about a false financial statement he had made regarding a $49,000 loan he had taken and he lost his bid for the third term in 1978 and returned to private law practice.

According to the BBC, in 2002, Mr Brooke was diagnosed with breast cancer and became a national leader in raising awareness of the disease in men, which occurs much less frequently than in women.

Edward Brooke will forever be known as a leader for human rights and for his place in American political history as the first ever black member of the US Senate.

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An avid reader, I consistently engage myself in the areas of current affairs and understanding of international relations, whilst at the same time, am interested in the area of economics and understanding the roles of economic concerns in the political economy. You can follow The Heralding on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest & Google+. Alternatively subscribe to our newsletter to be kept up to date with the latest articles on the Heralding.

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