GEORGE A. SMATHERS, 93 U.S. senator
Former U.S. Sen. George A. Smathers, a polished, dashing politician who forged friendships with presidents, waged war against communism, resisted civil rights legislation and was an early voice of warning about Fidel Castro's rise to power, died Saturday. He lived in Indian Creek Village, Fla., an exclusive island community outside Miami.
The Florida Democrat, who served two terms in the U.S. House and three in the Senate before leaving office in 1969, suffered a stroke Monday.
Shaped by World War II duty in the Marines, he used his more than two decades in Washington to focus on international issues and fight the spread of communism.
The senator was a political force who managed to unseat familiar faces and stake a place as a moderate able to straddle both sides of the aisle.