Sen. Daniel Inouye, the Hawaii Democrat is the country's longest serving senator. Photo by: Gannett News Service, Heather Wines
WASHINGTON - The office of Democrat Senator Daniel Inouye says the Medal of Honor recipient and 50-year veteran of the Senate died of respiratory complications at a Washington-area hospital Monday.
The 88-year-old Inouye was the longest serving senator and was president pro tempore of the Senate, third in the line presidential succession.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Inouye's death on the Senate floor.
Late Monday night is was announced that the Senate passed a resolution appointing Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont as president pro tempore - filling Sen. Inouyes' vacancy.
The seven-term Leahy would be third in line to the presidency, behind the vice president and the speaker of the House.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)