Former Ohio Sen. Howard Metzenbaum died at the age of 90.
Metzenbaum, Ohio’s first Jewish U.S. senator, died Wednesday night at his home in Florida.
He was appointed by then-Gov. John Gilligan to fill an unexpired term in late 1973, then won a seat three years later. Metzenbaum served three full terms, retiring in 1995.
Metzenbaum, a Cleveland native, was a self-made millionaire, a co-founder of an airport parking lot company.
A Senate liberal, Metzenbaum was a champion of workers and consumers rights – his father had eked out a living buying and selling second-hand goods. He promoted the Brady bill, legislating a mandatory waiting period to buy a handgun.
Metzenbaum advocated for positions taken by the Jewish community on many domestic issues, including civil rights, hate crimes laws, religious freedom and voting rights. He also voted consistently with supporters of Israel.
After retiring from the Senate, Metzenbaum served as the head of the Consumer Federation of America, a consumer advocacy group.