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Longtime Hudson Valley state Sen. Bill Larkin dies at 91

2019-09-02

Sen. William Larkin Jr, in the Senate chamber in Albany in 2014. (Mike Groll/AP)

Former state senator and decorated war veteran Bill Larkin has died, his spokesman announced Sunday. He was 91.

During his 40 years representing the mid-Hudson valley — first in the Assembly, later in the state Senate — he helped create the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor and the Purple Heart Forever Stamp.

Larkin was in the Army for 23 years, and served in World War II and the Korean War. Later in his military career, Larkin also guarded Martin Luther King, Jr., during the civil rights leader’s march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., according to his government bio.

Larkin, a Republican who lived much of his life in New Windsor, announced his retirement last year. “After serving this great country in WWII and Korea, and doing battle with a long line of Democratic challengers here at home, my final battle is with Father Time,” he said at the time.

The cause of death was not immediately known.

“Senator Larkin led by example every day of his life and was an inspiration to me and countless others who wanted nothing more than to serve the people of this great state and nation,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement.