Alcee Hastings, longest-serving member of Florida's congressional delegation, has died following a battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 84.
The family of Congressman Hastings released the following statement on his passing:
“It is with profound sadness and the deepest sense of loss that we announce the passing of the Honorable Alcee L. Hastings. He lived a life of triumph over adversity and his brilliance and compassion was felt amongst his constituents, colleagues, the nation and the world. He lived a full life with an indelible fighting spirit dedicated to equal justice. He believed that progress and change can only be achieved through recognizing and respecting the humanity of all mankind. He was never afraid to speak his mind and truly loved serving his constituents and his family. He will be dearly missed but his legacy and fighting spirit will forever live on.”
Hastings was appointed to the Florida federal bench by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 and became the state's first African American federal judge. He served as a member of the United States House of Representatives for Florida's 23rd congressional district from 1993 to 2013 and Florida's 20th congressional district from 2013 until his death.
The Congressional Black Caucus wrote in an official release its members are heartbroken and mourn the loss of a colleague and brother.
The official Twitter page of the Israel diplomatic mission in Miami featured a post stating Hastings "was a great friend to the Jewish community, and a leader in civil and human rights".