Harris Wofford, activist who served in Senate, dies at 92

Mayor Jim Kenney (right) smiles as former U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford (D-Pennsylvania) speaks at the Martin Luther King Day of Service opening ceremony at Girard College. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

Mayor Jim Kenney (right) smiles as former U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford (D-Pennsylvania) speaks at the Martin Luther King Day of Service opening ceremony at Girard College. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

Former U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford of Pennsylvania, a civil rights activist who staged an upset Senate win in 1991, has died. He was 92.

Wofford died late Monday night of complications from a fall in his Washington, D.C., apartment, his son, Daniel Wofford, said.

Wofford had joined the Senate in 1991, appointed to fill the Senate vacancy created by the death of Republican John Heinz. He then pulled off a surprise victory in a special election to complete the Senate term. But Wofford lost his 1994 bid for a full term.

After his stint in the Senate, he headed President Bill Clinton’s domestic volunteer program. Wofford’s activism in civil rights dated to the 1950s and he was a confidant of Martin Luther King Jr.

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