Specter was first elected to the Senate in 1980 and served as a moderate Republican until he left the GOP in 2009, and lost his seat in 2010. He was 82 years old.
Image by File / AP
WASHINGTON — Former Sen. Arlen Specter, a one time Republican moderate who ultimately abandoned the GOP in the face of the growing Tea Party movement, passed away Sunday, according to the Associated Press.
1981. C. Everett Koop with U.S. Senators Arlen Specter and Orrin Hatch.
Specter, 82, died after a long battle with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
A former prosecutor, Specter was elected to the Senate in 1980 and quickly made a name for himself on the Judiciary Committee.
Although often viewed as prickly and gruff, Specter had a dry sense of humor and developed close personal relationships with many of his colleagues. And while he also had a reputation in the halls of Congress as a task master, many of his staff remained fiercely loyal him, moving parties with him when he changed allegiances in 2009.