Former Senator John W. Warner of Virginia, a former Secretary of the Navy once married to Elizabeth Taylor, has died. He is 94 years old.
Warner died Tuesday of heart failure at his home in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife and daughter by his side, his longtime chief of staff, Susan A. Magill, said Wednesday.
Magill said: “He was sick but had a lot of spirit and stuck around until his last days.
Warner is a centrist Republican and a polite figure whose marriage to a movie star drew huge crowds when he was elected to the Senate in 1978. Served five terms before Retiring 30 years later, he has garnered support from moderates of both major parties, establishing himself at the center of American politics.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hailed Warner as a respected military hero and Senate leader. “This country has lost a great patriot. “In Congress we all know him as a voice of courage, faith and satisfaction; a leader who is not afraid to speak the truth but is always committed to finding common ground and consensus.”
Warner was a major supporter of President George W. Bush’s declaration of war in Iraq and served as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. His independent bravery sometimes angers more conservative GOP leaders. But he was very popular with Virginia voters.
Before running for the Senate, Warner became the sixth of Taylor’s seven husbands. The two met on a private date at a dinner for Queen Elizabeth and were married a few months later in 1976. They divorced in 1982 but remained friends afterward. Taylor wrote that she “just couldn’t stand the intense loneliness” as he became engrossed in his Senate duties.
He was succeeded in 2008 by Democrat Mark Warner – who had no ties – who challenged him to the Senate in 1996 and later governor of Virginia. The rivals later became good friends.
“In Virginia, we expect a lot of our elected officials,” Mark Warner said Wednesday. “We expect them to take the lead, but remain humble. We expect them to serve, but with dignity. We expect them to fight for what they believe in, but don’t make it personal. John Warner embodies all that and more. I firmly believe we can use more role models like him today.”
Warner, a polite figure with sharp features and thick gray hair, was so popular with Virginia voters that Democrats didn’t bother challenging him in 2002 for re-election to a fifth term. your.
Warner said in 1996: “The people of Virginia know that I stand for what I think is right and that I accept the consequences.
Senator Tim Kaine, D-Va, said: “Virginia has lost an unparalleled leader, and my family has also lost a dear friend. He said he understood after joining the room years later how influential Warner was.
Former Secretary of the Navy and a veteran of World War II and Korea, Warner has devoted much of his career to military affairs. He lost his position as Chairman of the Armed Services Committee in 2001 when Senator Jim Jeffords left the GOP putting Democrats in control of the Senate, but he regained it after the 2002 election brought Republicans. returned to power until the 2006 election.
Warner has often defended the Bush administration’s handling of the war in Iraq, but he has also shown a willingness to oppose the White House.
After a trip to Iraq in 2007, Warner urged Bush to begin sending troops home. He has summoned the highest-ranking Pentagon officials to testify on the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal and the Iraq war. Years earlier, he had dropped a key vote rejecting President Reagan’s nominee for the United States Supreme Court, Judge Robert Bork, a favorite of conservatives.
In 2005, Warner was part of the “Gang of 14 ″ – a group of centrist senators who defused a controversy over judicial documents over Bush appeals court candidates. That same year, Warner was the only senator to formally oppose federal intervention in Terri Schiavo’s death case.
“More wisdom is not always in the branches of the federal government,” he said.
Republicans nominated Warner to the Senate in 1978 after the party’s first, Richard Obenshain, died in a plane crash. Some suggested that he was riding in the back of the movie star wife’s car, he was mocked and voted with a ratio of 4,721 votes out of 1.2 million votes. Every race after that was much easier.
In 1994, Warner infuriated conservatives by protesting GOP candidate Oliver North’s attempt before unrecognized Democratic Senator Charles S. Robb, claiming that the Iran-Contra figure was not suitable for public office. Intrigued by what they saw as disloyalty, conservatives in the party tried to deny him a fourth term in 1996, in favor of a challenge by former Reagan administration budget chief Jim Miller.
Miller has portrayed Warner as an elitist who spends too much time getting to know the stars, including Barbara Walters. But Warner easily defeated Miller in the primaries and went on to beat Democrat Mark Warner in the general election.
John Warner mended his strained relationship with the GOP by supporting Jim Gilmore’s successful campaigns for governor in 1997 and George Allen for Robb’s Senate seat in 2000.
“I certainly risked my political future, that’s for sure,” Warner said in 1994. “But I want the voters of this state to remember that I stood by my principles. … That is the price of leadership. “
While the military is Warner’s top priority, he also supports legislation that strengthens seat belt laws and promotes environmental causes.
Born in Washington, DC, on February 18, 1927, Warner volunteered for the Navy at the age of 17 and was a 3rd Class electronics technician. He received his engineering degree from Washington and Lee Universities in 1949.
He entered law school at the University of Virginia in the fall of 1949 but volunteered the following year for the Marines, serving in Korea as a second lieutenant and liaison officer with the Marine Corps Air Defense Force. No.1.
After Korea, he returned to law school and received a degree from U.Va. in 1953.
He was law clerk in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in private practice, and then served four years as a federal prosecutor.
In 1960, he continued his private practice and specialized in banking, securities and corporate practice. He became Secretary of the Navy in 1969 and served as Secretary of the Navy from 1972 to 1974. He was administrator of the Bicentennial Administration of the American Revolution from 1974 to 1976.
Warner has an estimated fortune of $ 7 million after his first marriage broke up, with Catherine Mellon, daughter of billionaire Paul Mellon.
After his divorce from Taylor, he married real estate agent Jeanne Vander Myde in 2003.
Warner has three children, Mary, Virginia and John, and is a member of the Episcopal Church.
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