Longest-serving Senator Robert Byrd dies

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the longest-serving senator in U.S. history, has died at age 92.

Spokesman Jesse Jacobs says Byrd died peacefully at about 3 a.m. Monday at Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Va.

Byrd was elected to the Senate in 1958, after spending six years in the House. He was the Senate majority leader for six years during the late 1970s and 1980s and was third in the line of succession for the presidency. As either chairman or the senior Democrat on the Appropriations Committee for 20 years, he steered billions of dollars in federal spending to West Virginia.

Byrd became more frail after the death of his wife, Erma, in 2006. By 2009, aides were wheeling him to and from the Senate floor in a wheelchair.

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