PM Gumbs extends condolences to family of the late Edward Brooke

~ Recalls Brooke as ‘a friend to St. Maarten’ ~

Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs, on behalf of the government and of St. Maarten, extended heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke who passed away on Saturday. He was the first black in U.S. history to win popular election to the Senate. He died of natural causes at his Coral Gables, Florida, home. He was 95.

Brooke was a friend of St. Maarten for decades and married to Anne Fleming. Prime Minister Gumbs remembered Brooke as someone who did numerous positive things for St. Maarten anonymously over the years. “He was dedicated in his contributions to social institutions of the island on both Dutch and French St. Maarten,” the PM said, adding that he also resided on both sides of the island for periods of time.

In discussing his memoirs seven years ago, Brooke told the Washington Post: “I went on (after his first marriage) and married a lovely woman from Saint Martin in the Caribbean in 1979 and we’ve had a wonderful marriage for 30 years and I’m very proud of the life we’ve had.”

Brooke was elected to the Senate in 1966, becoming the first black to sit in that branch from any state since Reconstruction and one of nine blacks who have ever served there — including President Barack Obama.

Brooke is survived by his second wife, Anne Fleming Brooke, their son Edward Brooke IV, his daughters from his first marriage, Remi and Edwina, stepdaughter Melanie and four grandchildren.