The Hill is reporting that former Connecticut Sen. Richard Buckley has died. Former Sen. Buckley was a member of the “Taft Caucus” who was the first president of the modern Republican Senate in 1917, according to his senate biography.
Buckley’s passion for the U.S. Marine Corps led him to serve the country for 27 years, which included five decades in the U.S. Senate. He was honored by the House with the Congressional Gold Medal in 1994. Buckley and Sen. Paul Tsongas (D-Mass.) also were awarded the Legion of Merit by then-President George H.W. Bush.
Buckley died on Sunday after being hospitalized since March for complications from a liver transplant.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement Monday:
“Serving our country is an honor and privilege. Richard Buckley dedicated his life to serving in uniform, serving as a senator from Connecticut, and serving our country. On behalf of the entire Senate, I express my deepest condolences to his wife, his children, and all who were fortunate to have known him.”
Former President Barack Obama said in a statement that Buckley served the country “as a patriot, a public servant, and a public servant first and foremost.”
Former Republican presidential nominee John McCain said in a statement:
“We’ve lost a great patriot and our nation has lost one of its finest public servants. Richard was passionate about America and her ideals. He fought for America. Richard Buckley left Connecticut as an usher to fight for America, after serving in World War II. It was then that he joined Senator Taft and the ‘Taft Caucus’ in Congress, which led to his first term in the Senate. He then served for over 28 years as a Senator, before his tragic passing.”
Tim Prouse, Buckley’s campaign manager, said Buckley was a man of true personal integrity, a great husband, a devoted father, a great husband to Marian and a loving father to Diane. He said that Buckley is an example of a man who had a spirit for success in his life, and often focused on helping others.
Buckley is survived by his wife, a son and four daughters.
His funeral will be held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City on Thursday.