Image Copyright: Cherie Cullen / DoD
By Phillip Rawls
Copyright: The Associated Press
Former Alabama Sen. Jeremiah Denton, who survived 7½ years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam and alerted the U.S. military to conditions there when he blinked the word “torture” in Morse code during a television interview, died Friday. He was 89.
Denton’s grandson, Edward Denton, said he died about 8 a.m. at a hospice facility in Virginia Beach, Va., surrounded by family. Edward Denton said his grandfather had been in declining health for the past year and died from heart problems.
Denton, a retired Navy rear admiral, in 1980 became the first Republican elected to the U.S. Senate from Alabama since Reconstruction, but he narrowly lost a re-election bid six years later.