Former Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter has died at the age of 82, according to a statement from the family. Specter died in his family home in Philadelphia from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Specter, one of the last liberal Republicans in Washington, served as both a Democrat and a Republican in his distinguished career in the Senate, which dates back more than 30 years, including a 1996 presidential bid to challenge incumbent President Bill Clinton.
The former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary announced in August that he was battling cancer. In recent years, Specter had fought two cases of Hodgkin’s disease, survived cardiac arrest following a bypass surgery and even defeated a brain tumor.
From 1966 to 1974, Specter served as the 19th District Attorney of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In 2009, Specter announced that after 44 years of being a Republican he was going to switch his political membership to the Democratic Party. One year later, Specter was defeated by Joe Sestak in the Democratic primary, who was then beaten by Republican Senator Pat Toomey in the general election.
Later that year, Specter went onto become an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Throughout his career, he will be known for his important influence in Supreme Court nominations and the engineer of the one-bullet theory in the death of President John F. Kennedy as the assistant counsel to the Warren Commission.