Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye died Monday of respiratory complications at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The nine-term Hawaii Democrat was 88 years old.
Inouye had been hospitalized since December 6.
Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, issued a statement on Inouye’s passing late Monday.
“I am saddened by the news this evening of Senator Inouye’s passing. He was one of the last World War II veterans in Congress, and a leading veteran advocate for more than 50 years,” Miller said.
“His selfless service to our nation dates back well before his time on Capitol Hill, where in hard battle on the fields of Italy in 1945 his actions resulted in being bestowed the Medal of Honor. With his passing, we remember the bravery and dedication of the Greatest Generation, and with each day that sets, we mourn all who battled through this life to find reward in the next.”
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch released a statement praising Inouye as well.
“I was honored to serve with Danny my entire service in the United States Senate, but even more so privileged to call him my close friend,” Hatch said.
Inouye served in the Senate for five decades, dating back to 1962. A towering political figure in both Washington and his home state of Hawaii, Inouye served as the most recent chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
Multiple Democratic senators on the appropriations committee had disparaged Inouye during his hospitalization, suggesting that he was an ineffective committee leader who had stayed in the Senate “too long.” (RELATED: Anonymous Dems attack ailing senator)