Former Sen. Arlen Specter, Centrist, Dies at 82

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Former Republican Senator Arlen Specter passed away on Sunday morning at the age of 82. His son said he lost his battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Living up to his reputation as a hard guy to keep down, Arlen previously survived Hodgkin's disease, a brain tumor and heart bypass surgery. The New York Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote a beautiful eulogy for the centrist who was respected on both sides of the aisle. The President said Arlen was "always a fighter," while Harry Reid said, "America is better today because of Arlen Specter. He will be dearly missed." Specter served in his Pennsylvania senate seat for almost 30 years. When a man serves that long, he met a lot of people along the way. Some journalists shared their Specter stories on Twitter after hearing of his passing. Bloomberg's Josh Barro mentioned a messy speech Specter gave in 2004, while Gawker's Cord Jefferson was sparred a squash beating from the former Senator.

Specter was also a surprisingly good stand up comic, for an 82-year-old career politician. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.