WASHINGTON -- Democrat Daniel Inouye, the U.S. Senate's most senior member and a Medal of Honor recipient for his bravery during World War II, has died. He was 88.
He died of respiratory complications, according to the Associated Press.
President Obama praised Inouye, saying the nation has "lost a true American hero."
"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," Obama said in a statement. "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."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced the news of Inouye's death on the Senate floor, sparking a round of tributes for the man Reid called "a giant of the Senate." Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., hailed Inouye's service and his reserve as a mark of "men who lead by example and expect nothing in return."
As president pro tempore of the Senate, Inouye was third in line of presidential succession -- after Vice President Biden and House Speaker John Boehner. First elected to the Senate in 1962, Inouye's tenure is second only to Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who died in 2010.