Sen. Daniel Inouye, the longest serving senator and fourth in line of presidential succession, has died. Inouye, a decorated World War II hero, was 88. According to his office, "His last words were, 'Aloha.'"
Inouye has been hospitalized since early December due to respiratory problems. His cause of death was "respiratory complications".
Inouye was first elected to the Senate in 1962, after three years in the House. He served in Congress throughout Hawaii's time as a state.
After a half-century in the Senate Inouye held an influential position as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He was also president pro tem of the Senate, putting him in the line of presidential succession behind House Speaker John Boehner. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), will now hold that position.
A low-key lawmaker, Inouye commanded bipartisan respect. "Senator Daniel Inouye was an American hero. Read up on his WWII service. Incredible. He will be missed. #Aloha #RIP," tweeted Rory Cooper (@rorycooper), communications director for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA).