Apr 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Florida congressman Alcee Hastings dies at 84


Photo: Erin Schaff/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) passed away on Tuesday, ending his lifelong career fighting for civil rights and his 15th term in Congress, the Orlando Sentinel reports. He was 84.

Why it matters: Hastings was a civil rights lawyer and Florida's first Black federal judge, though he was later impeached due to allegations of bribery and perjury. He was also one of the first Black members of Congress from Florida following Reconstruction, and the dean of the Florida delegation, the Sentinel notes.

  • Hastings was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer in 2018. He'd been in hospice care in the days leading up to his death.
  • He was a Florida native and an alumnus of Fisk University and Florida A&M University.

President Biden said in a statement on Tuesday, "Across his long career of public service, Alcee always stood up to fight for equality, and always showed up for the working people he represented. And even in his final battle with cancer, he simply never gave up."

The big picture: Hastings is survived by his wife, Patricia Williams, and three adult children. He will be replaced via a special election — for which the date will be set by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

Editor's note: This story has been updated with Biden's statement.

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