Former U.S. Sen. John Warner (R-VA) has died at the age of 94, Fox News reports.
Susan A. Magill, his longtime chief of staff, announced the sad news in a statement on Wednesday.
“Involved until his last days”
Magill said that Warner died the previous day at his home in Alexandria with his wife and daughter by his side. His cause of death was listed as heart failure.
“He was frail but had a lot of spirit and was involved until his last days,” Magill added.
The veteran statesman was first elected to the Senate in 1979, having previously served as U.S. Navy secretary under President Richard Nixon. Warner’s career began as an attorney upon graduation from the University of Virginia law school.
He went on to serve five terms in a Senate career that ended in 2009, marking the second-longest tenure of any U.S. senator in state history.
During those three decades, he was generally regarded as a centrist in the vein of the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). He supported certain GOP policies, including military funding during the Cold War, but opposed initiatives such as the nomination of Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“A man devoted to public service”
Warner’s ideology often aligned him with Democrats, even toward the end of his life when he supported Joe Biden over Donald Trump in last year’s presidential election.
In addition to his political contributions, he also attracted attention for his marriage to actress Elizabeth Taylor. Warner was her sixth husband and their marriage lasted from 1976 to 1982.
Though the marriage helped propel Warner’s career, Taylor later wrote of the toll it took on their union in a 1987 memoir, explaining: “I don’t think I’ve ever been so alone in my life as when I was Mrs. Senator, and I don’t blame my ex-husband. He never pretended to be anything but a man devoted to public service, and once that service began in earnest, I had to take a backseat to his constituency.”
President Joe Biden was among the prominent names across the political spectrum who issued a statement addressing the news of his death.
“The John Warner I knew was guided by two things: his conscience and our Constitution,” the president said, according to Breitbart. “And, when acting in accordance with both, he neither wavered in his convictions nor was concerned with the consequences. Through his service in uniform and the Senate, John Warner deftly helped guide our ship of state. Today our hearts and prayers are with his family.