Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye from Hawaii has died at the age of 88 after being hospitalized for respiratory problems for the past few weeks.
Inouye served in the Senate since 1963. He was the longest serving senator at the time of his death and was the President pro tempore, which made him third in line to the presidency after the vice president and the Speaker of the House.
Inouye was the first Japanese American to serve in the House and later in the Senate. He was a decorated World War II veteran having received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Inouye met Sen. Bob Dole at a military hospital when they were recovering from war injuries; the two would later become colleagues in the Senate.
According to a statement released by his staff, Sen. Inouye's last word was "Aloha."
President Obama said the following in a statement about the late senator:
"Our country has lost a true American hero with the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye. The second-longest serving senator in the history of the chamber, Danny represented the people of Hawaii in Congress from the moment they joined the Union. In Washington, he worked to strengthen our military, forge bipartisan consensus, and hold those of us in government accountable to the people we were elected to serve. But it was his incredible bravery during World War II – including one heroic effort that cost him his arm but earned him the Medal of Honor – that made Danny not just a colleague and a mentor, but someone revered by all of us lucky enough to know him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Inouye family."