Daniel Inouye, the senior Democratic senator from Hawaii and first Japanese American elected to both the US House of Representatives and the Senate, has died, The New York Times reports. He was 88. Inouye served in World War II, losing his right arm, and eventually was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Once in politics, Inouye, the Times adds, was known for his "quiet voice of national conscience during the Watergate scandal and the Iran-contra affair" as well as for his championing of Hawaiian causes and environmental and educational protections, among others. Additionally, Inouye chaired the Senate appropriations committee.
In a statement, Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, praises Inouye's ability to work in a bipartisan fashion. "He was an unflagging champion of biomedical research. In a lifetime of public service that extended from his decorated military service in World War II all the way to this year's Senate business as Chair of Appropriations, Senator Inouye was a dedicated and heroic leader for our country," Collins says. "He was a staunch advocate for the promise of medical science, especially the hope it holds for our wounded warriors."