Arlen Specter Remembered - New York News

Arlen Specter Remembered

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PHILADELPHIA -

For most of his 30 years are Pennsylvania's longest serving United States Senator Arlen Specter was known as a fighter, not only in politics but in his own personal life.

Specter died Sunday morning in his East Falls home from complications of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

"I remember him teaching me about discipline, teaching me to focus," said longtime friend former Gov. Ed Rendell.

Rendell got his first job from Specter in the Philadelphia District Attorney's. He called Specter an "institution."

"There's no one in the history of this state who has done more for the people of this state with 30 years in the Senate and eight years as DA with -- the only exception is Benjamin Franklin. He was an extraordinary public official," said Rendell.

Friends like Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA) remember talking with Specter last month.

"I talked with him when he was sick, and he said he was going to beat it and couldn't wait to get out onto the squash court," said Brady.

Rep. Brady regularly rode the train to Washington, D.C., with Specter and got plenty of advice along the way.

"He was just a great man. He didn't let party lines get in the way. He voted his conscience. And every time he voted he did it to benefit the state the region and the United States," Brady said.

"Sen. Specter would himself even say he would have the unique ability to upset people on both sides of the aisle. But I think his work demonstrated he could work in a very bipartisan fashion and he could work with anyone if the cause was right," said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

In his personal life, friends say the Senator was known for his dry wit. Specter even tried his hand at stand up comedy gigs.

He was also a fixture at Lincoln Financial Field for most Eagles games. People from all political persuasions understand the impact he made on Pennsylvania.

"He was a great representative of the state and the people in it, so it's a shame he passed but he had a great life and served his constituency well," said Jim Sloane, of Bethlehem.

"I always thought he was a great guy. He was for everybody, no matter what your politics were. He was just down to earth" said Connie Donnelley, of Glassboro, N.J.

Specter is survived by his wife, two sons and four granddaughters. He was 82 years old.

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