Senator Daniel Inouye, the Hawaii Democrat and the president pro tempore of the Senate, has died. Ed O'Keefe of the Washington Post reports:
BREAKING: Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Senate Pro-Temp, has died. His last words were, "Aloha," according to his office.— Ed O'Keefe (@edatpost) December 17, 2012
Inouye, 88 years old, was one of the longest-serving senators in American history, serving just a few weeks shy of 50 years. As the most senior senator in the majority party, he became president pro tempore of the Senate in 2010 following the death of Robert Byrd of West Virginia. Inouye will likely be succeeded in that position by Vermont's Patrick Leahy.
An Army veteran of the Second World War, Inouye had part of his right arm amputated after being injured by a German rifle grenade. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery.
Update: Inouye's Senate office has released a statement. Here's an excerpt:
United States Senator Daniel K. Inouye, World War II veteran, Medal of Honor recipient and Hawaii's senior Senator, passed away from respiratory complications at 5:01 p.m. Eastern Standard Time today at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
His wife Irene and his son Ken were at his side. Last rites were performed by Senate Chaplain Dr. Barry Black.
He is survived by his wife, Irene Hirano Inouye, his son Daniel Ken Inouye Jr., Ken's wife Jessica, and granddaughter Maggie and step-daughter Jennifer Hirano. He was preceded in death his first wife, Maggie Awamura....
When asked in recent days how he wanted to be remembered, Dan said, very simply, "I represented the people of Hawaii and this nation honestly and to the best of my ability. I think I did OK."
His last words were, "Aloha."