Former Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) passed away Thursday evening at the age of 87, according to Fox News.
Levin, the state’s longest serving senator, was formerly a civil rights attorney and taxi driver who was a staunch supporter of the auto industry, particularly in his home state.
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.”
The former senator’s nephew, Rep. Andy Levin, (D-MI) released a statement following news of his uncle’s passing saying that his uncle put public interest above his own:
“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.”
The longtime Democrat served for more than three decades and published memoir called, “Getting to the Heart of the Matter: My 36 Years in the Senate,” about his time representing Michigan in the Nation’s capitol.
It was in that book that he revealed that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer a few years earlier, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Despite leaving his office, however, he remained a vocal advocate for causes close to his heart, including recently penning an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in defense of the filibuster and called the initiative to repeal it “shortsighted.”