Ohio's 'Senator No' Metzenbaum Dead at 90

Crusading Democrat took on big business in long Senate career
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2008 3:20 AM CDT
Former US Senator Howard Metzenbaum of Ohio launches a national orange ribbon campaign on behalf of disenfranchised Florida voters 04 December 2000 in Tallahassee, Florida. (AFP PHOTO/TIM SLOAN)   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Former Ohio senator Howard Metzenbaum has died at home at the age of 90, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Democrat, his views shaped by the Great Depression and FDR's policies, fought hard for the rights of workers during a political career that began in 1943. Colleagues nicknamed the self-made millionaire "Senator No" after he used his mastery of Senate rules to block special interest bills and save taxpayers billions.

His tough stance against pork-barrel politics won the proudly liberal and often curmudgeonly Metzenbaum plenty of foes, but he gained their grudging respect as well. "The Senate needs someone like Howard Metzenbaum—but only one," a Republican colleague once said. Metzenbaum, who stayed active fighting for consumer rights into his 80s, leaves behind a wife and four daughters.