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Former U.S. senator Harris Wofford dies

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) - Harris Wofford, the Democratic U.S. senator who represented Pennsylvania from 1991 to 1995, has died.

Wofford died Monday at a Washington, D.C. hospital due to complications from a fall, his family said. He was 92.

Governor Bob Casey appointed Wofford to the U.S. Senate in 1991 after U.S. Sen. John Heinz died in an aviation accident. Wofford defeated former governor Dick Thornburgh in a special election later that year.

Wofford was also Secretary of Labor and Industry in Casey's administration. In the 1960s, he was an adviser to President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.

Governor Tom Wolf said Wofford dedicated his life to service and to making the world a better and more peaceful place.

"As a former Peace Corps volunteer, I was always an admirer of his pivotal role in launching that important program. I am grateful for the opportunity to have met him and for the lessons he taught us all," Wolf said in a statement.

"Harris represented the best of Pennsylvania and America - a selfless, empathetic, and optimistic citizen. We will be forever indebted for his service to us.” 

Wolf ordered Pennsylvania flags at the Capitol Complex and all public buildings and grounds to fly at half-staff to honor Wofford.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey said few Americans are more responsible for advancing the cause of civil rights than Wofford. 

"It's only fitting that Harris passed away on the national day of service he helped to bring into existence,” Casey said in a statement.


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