Carl Levin, Michigan‘s longest-serving senator, has died at the age of 87, Fox News confirmed late Thursday.
Levin, a Harvard-educated civil rights attorney and former taxi driver, was known for being a powerful voice on military issues and as a staunch supporter of the auto industry.
Former President Obama said in 2013, “If you’ve ever worn the uniform, worked a shift on an assembly line, or sacrificed to make ends meet, then you’ve had a voice and a vote in Sen. Carl Levin.”
Fox2Detroit reported that Rep. Andy Levin, D-Mich., his nephew, released a statement praising his uncle for putting “the public good above self-interest.”
“As he walked about the Capitol in a rumpled suit, almost always with a plain white shirt and pedestrian tie, carrying bulging files with the occasional paper flying away, Carl was the very picture of sober purpose and rectitude. In truth, he wasn’t unfun,” he said. “In fact, he often pierced tense situations with self-deprecating humor, and he privately shared incisive observations about others with staff and colleagues.”
Levin, a Democrat, published a recent memoir called, “Getting to the Heart of the Matter: My 36 Years in the Senate,” and revealed that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer a few years earlier, the Detroit Free Press reported.
He remained a powerful voice from the left, and the paper pointed out that he recently penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in defense of the filibuster and called the initiative to repeal it “shortsighted.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the state’s Democrat, tweeted out that Levin was a “champion for Michigan.”
“He devoted his life to public service, and it’s up to us to follow his example. My thoughts are with his loved ones tonight,” she wrote.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram and the Associated Press contributed to this report