Governor Tom Corbett ordered Pennsylvania flags at half-staff on Monday in honor of Senator Arlen Specter.
Specter died Sunday at his home in Philadelphia from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, according to a statement released by his family. He was 82-years-old.
Specter announced in late August that he once again was battling cancer. "It's another battle I intend to win," he said in a statement.
He wasn't able to win this battle, though, like he did against the same disease in 2005 and 2008.
Specter rose to prominence in the 1960s as an aggressive Philadelphia prosecutor and as an assistant counsel to the Warren Commission, developing the single-bullet theory that posited just one bullet struck both President Kennedy and Texas Gov. John Connally — an assumption critical to the argument that presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
Before spending a record 30 years representing Pennsylvania in the Senate, Specter was a two-term District Attorney of his adopted home city of Philadelphia in the late 1960s and early 70s.
During his time in the Senate, Specter, a centrist, gained friends and enemies on both sides of the aisle.
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In 1987, Specter helped thwart the Supreme Court nomination of former federal appeals Judge Robert H. Bork — earning him conservative enemies who still bitterly refer to such rejections as being "borked."
But four years later, Specter was criticized by liberals for his tough questioning of Anita Hill at Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court nomination hearings and for accusing her of committing "flat-out perjury." The nationally televised interrogation incensed women's groups and nearly cost him his seat in 1992.
Specter was Pennsylvania's longest-serving senator when he switched parties in 2009. The long-time Republican ended his career as a Democrat in 2010 when he was defeated in his sixth bid for U.S. Senate.
A public funeral service will be held at noon on Tuesday at Har Zion Temple on Hagys Ford Road in Penn Valley, Pa. with burial to follow at Shalom Memorial Park in Huntingdon Valley, Pa.
The family requests that instead of flowers, donations should be made to Philadelphia University or a charity of the donor's choice.
Governor Corbett ordered the flags at the Capitol Complex as well as all commonwealth facilities to fly at half-staff until sundown on Tuesday.