Alcee Hastings, the longtime Congressman who served South Florida for decades and fought for civil rights, has died at 84 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
The Sun Sentinel first reported his death.
First elected in 1992, Hastings was in his 15th term in Congress representing District 20, which includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach Counties. He won re-election in November.
“Since his election to Congress as the first African-American from Florida since the post-Civil War period, Congressman Hastings has been an outspoken advocate for Floridians and our nation as a whole,” his official bio reads. “Throughout his lifetime, Congressman Hastings has championed the rights of minorities, women, the elderly, children, and immigrants.”
Hastings announced in January 2019 that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
“I have been convinced that this is a battle worth fighting, and my life is defined by fighting battles worth fighting,” Hastings said at the time. “Should it become clear that this cancer which has invaded my body cannot be defeated, I will tell you so.”
Hastings was born in Altamonte Springs, north of Orlando. He graduated from Fisk University and earned his law degree from Florida A&M.
Appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, he became the first African-American Federal Judge in the State of Florida, and served in that position for 10 years prior to his Congressional career.
“Leading a life of public service, Congressman Alcee Hastings has left his beloved state of Florida better than he found it,” state Sen. Lauren Book, D-Broward, said in a statement. “Congressman Hastings broke barriers as he fought to advance civil rights as the first Black Federal Judge in the State of Florida and first Black Congressperson to represent Florida since the Civil War. I am grateful for the decades of advocacy Congressman Hastings provided for Floridians and offer my sincerest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.”
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Source:: Politics Headlines
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