Fmr. Governor Rendell remembers Specter's personal side

PHILADELPHIA - October 14, 2012 PHOTOS of Senator Specter through the years: Website and iPad | Wireless

Former Governor Ed Rendell says he learned a lot from the late Senator Arlen Specter, a neighbor and colleague.

"He hired me even though I was a democrat," Rendell said. "He was an extraordinary guy, and he will be missed by all of us."

Rendell regards Specter as a mentor. He watched the hard-nosed politician consistently fight for what he believed in, even if it meant crossing party lines.

"They wanted to take away the school lunch program from Philadelphia public schools. Arlen stepped in and stopped it dead in its tracks. That's how effective it was."

Specter served the people of Pennsylvania for almost 4 decades, first as the District Attorney of Philadelphia, and then as a U.S. Senator.

His commitment to protecting the public did not go unnoticed.

"I still think he was the one who helped the stimulus go through," said Marty Rosenthal. "He voted with Obama; he helped the country, and I will always remember him for that."

"Whether or not people would agree or disagree with what he believed in, politically he fought for it with all the energy he had; all the passion he could bring to it," said Ed Allen of Morton, Pa.

Passion and politics aside many people did not realize Arlen Specter also had quite the sense of humor.

In recent years, he started doing stand-up comedy, and his hidden talent was a hit.

"He was a very funny man," said Congressman Bob Brady. "Many people didn't find out until the end."

Arlen Specter will be laid to rest on Tuesday.

The senator's wife, former City Councilwoman Joan Specter and other family members will greet mourners at 12 noon at Har Zion Temple at 1500 Hagysford Road in Penn Valley, followed by a burial in Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

The funeral will be open to the public.

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