Notable Deaths

January 02, 2009


U.S. senator, creator of Pell Grants

Claiborne Pell, the quirky blueblood who represented blue-collar Rhode Island in the U.S. Senate for 36 years and was the force behind a grant program that has helped tens of millions of Americans attend college, died yesterday at his Newport home after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

Mr. Pell, a Democrat, spoke with an aristocratic tone but was an unabashed liberal who spent his political career championing causes to help the less fortunate.

He disclosed he had Parkinson's in December 1994 and left office in January 1997 after his sixth term.

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