The Last of the "Creative Moderates"
January 3, 2015 1:55 PM   Subscribe

Edward Brooke, the first African-American to be popularly elected to the U.S. Senate, has died at the age of 95. Immediately a prominent media figure after his election in 1966, he served for two terms. After leaving office, he became known as an advocate for male breast cancer awareness. Although a loyal Republican to the end, in 2004 he found cause to criticize his party for its close-mindedness. In recent years he received renewed media attention when Barbara Walters revealed in her autobiography that she and Brooke had had a secret affair.
posted by Bromius (11 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
An aside: Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African-American to be elected to the U.S. Senate (and indeed to the U.S. Congress overall) but not popularly -- he was elected by the Mississippi State Senate in 1870, back when state senates did that sort of thing.
posted by wormwood23 at 2:01 PM on January 3, 2015

An interesting connection: In 1969, Edward Brooke was invited to give the commencement speech at a liberal arts college. For the first time in its history, that college had a student speaker, who when presented with her turn to speak, chided Senator Brooke for focusing on the "art of the possible" and quoted the slogan of the Parisian rebels of May 1968, "Be realistic. Demand the impossible." That student speaker was Hillary Clinton nee Rodham.

posted by jonp72 at 2:11 PM on January 3, 2015 [10 favorites]


I met him a few times when I was very young. I can barely remember.
posted by vrakatar at 2:20 PM on January 3, 2015

posted by JoeXIII007 at 2:54 PM on January 3, 2015

posted by Small Dollar at 3:33 PM on January 3, 2015

A real pioneer of politics, someone so moderate he'd barely be accepted by some Democratic hacks these days.
posted by etaoin at 4:29 PM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Wow what an amazing life. We've lost a lot of diversity, of background and philosophy, in our politics.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:45 PM on January 3, 2015

Brooke discusses the time he told Nixon it was time for him to go.
posted by adamg at 7:03 PM on January 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

posted by Slithy_Tove at 5:29 AM on January 4, 2015

posted by Cash4Lead at 11:42 AM on January 4, 2015

Obit in the Vineyard Gazette,
and the MV Times.
posted by vrakatar at 6:29 PM on January 5, 2015

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