WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement on the passing of former U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI):


“Today, I join the people of Michigan and Americans everywhere in mourning the loss of Carl Levin.  My heart goes out to his beloved wife, Barbara, their wonderful daughters and grandchildren, who were his pride and joy, and of course, his big brother and best friend, Sandy, and the entire Levin family, including his beloved sister, Hannah, who preceded him in death.


“Carl Levin served thirty-six years in the U.S. Senate and he made every single day count.  He was a gentleman and a statesman.  A true champion for Michigan, for working families, for justice, the Great Lakes, and for the men and women of the United States military.


“We liked to joke that we were such good friends because I made him feel tall and he made me feel like a snappy dresser. 


“Carl Levin was a man of substance, character, and integrity.  He was a big-hearted workhorse who dedicated his life to standing up for the downtrodden, holding the powerful accountable, and making the federal government work more effectively for the American people.


“He was one of the most productive, effective Congressional investigators and legislators of his era, wielding his gavels on the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations with great clout and distinction.  You did not want to be on the wrong side of Chairman Levin, getting stared down at the end of those gravity-defying glasses that he somehow managed to keep perched atop the very tip of his nose.  He was relentless in going after waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption whenever and wherever he saw it.  He didn’t shy from tough issues.  He led the inquiry into torture of detainees in U.S. military custody and made our country stronger by exposing where we fell short of upholding our own values.


“In times of war and peace, his contributions as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee continue to make our nation stronger and protect Americans from harm.


“Carl’s approach to oversight was tenacious.  And his approach to legislating was to thoroughly study the issues, listen to what others had to say, and be willing to work with those who had different points of view.  He excelled at disagreeing without being disagreeable.  That helped him reach principled compromise, achieve common goals, and get things done for the American people.


“Carl, Sandy, and their late sister, Hannah, were raised by wonderful parents and he often shared one of his mom’s favorite sayings: “Remember: Nobody’s better than you are, and you’re no better than anyone else.”  The Levin brothers exuded that sentiment in the way they treat others: with respect and dignity, but never afraid to speak their minds or speak up for those without a voice or a seat at the table.  In fact, they dedicated themselves to making room at the table for everyone. 


“I have travelled the world with Carl Levin and had the chance to sit with him across the table from heads of state and commanders in the field.  He treated everyone equally.  Took copious notes.  Studied the issues.  Wore the same rumpled suits.  And worked tirelessly for the people of Michigan and Americans everywhere.


“Carl Levin believed in good government and policies that connect hard work to greater opportunity.  He dedicated his life’s work to making government accountable and an instrument of opportunity and justice.  


“I will always admire Carl Levin, as a person and a senator.  I am so proud to call him my friend and so profoundly saddened by his loss.  He leaves a remarkable legacy of honor, integrity, service, and achievement.


“Mr. Chairman, thank you for your many years of service to Michigan, your leadership for America, and for your friendship and trusted counsel.  And to Barbara: Thank you for sharing Carl with Michigan and the U.S. Senate.  Together, you two have made the world a better place.”