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Senator Kefauver Is Dead

Aug. 10, 1963 - Rupture of the main heart artery early today ended the life of Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee (pictured left with Adlai Stevenson in 1956), a leader among the Senate’s liberal Democrats, a crusader against crime and monopoly, and a former Presidential aspirant. Death came “quickly and peacefully” at 3:40 a.m., his office announced. His aorta burst, causing a massive hemorrhage, while surgeons were preparing for an operation at the Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. Senator Kefauver was taken to the hospital Thursday night after suffering what was described as a mild heart attack during debate on the Senate floor. The death of the Tennessean, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1952 and 1956, brought expressions of tribute and sorrow from President Kennedy, Senate colleagues, and others of both political parties. President Kennedy said the death “has deprived the nation of one of its most distinguished leaders.” Senator Kefauver received his party’s vice-presidential nomination in 1956, but he and the Presidential nominee, Adlai E. Stevenson, were defeated. Today, Mr. Stevenson said: “Senator Kefauver was a modest gentleman, a colorful political figure, a tireless public servant, and an implacable foe of privilege and monopoly. The people have lost a gallant champion, and I have lost an old friend and companion-in-arms.” The Senate vacancy created by Mr. Kefauver’s death leaves the party lineup there at 66 Democrats and 33 Republicans. It is expected to be filled shortly by the appointment of another Democrat to serve until a successor is elected in November 1964 for the remaining two years of the Kefauver term.

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