WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is hailing Edward Brooke, who made history 43 years ago as the first black man elected by popular vote to the U.S. Senate.
The president on Wednesday was on Capitol Hill as Brooke, now 90 years old, was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. The honor is Congress’ highest form of appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions to society.
Obama said that many leaders — including himself — have followed the trail that Brooke blazed. And Brooke sat and smiled as the president spoke. Brooke had grown up in an era of racial segregation in D.C. He won the first of his two Senate terms representing Massachusetts in 1966. Obama said Brooke trusted that people would judge him on his character and ideas.
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