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Sen. Elizabeth Warren's oldest brother dies from coronavirus

"What made him extra special was his smile," Warren tweeted, adding, "I'll miss you dearly my brother."

WASHINGTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said Thursday that her eldest brother died from the coronavirus this week.

"My oldest brother, Don Reed, died from coronavirus on Tuesday evening," Warren, who dropped out of the presidential race last month, said on Twitter, including a link to a Boston Globe story on her brother's death. "He joined the Air Force at 19 and spent his career in the military, including five and a half years off and on in combat in Vietnam. He was charming and funny, a natural leader."

In two follow-up tweets, Warren said her brother was special because of his smile and thanked those who had cared for him.

"What made him extra special was his smile — quick and crooked, it always seemed to generate its own light, one that lit up everyone around him," Warren wrote.

"I'm grateful to the nurses and frontline staff who took care of him, but it's hard to know that there was no family to hold his hand or to say 'I love you' one more time — and no funeral for those of us who loved him to hold each other close," she continued. "I'll miss you dearly my brother."

The Globe identified Warren's brother as Donald Reed Herring and said he died Tuesday at age 86 in Norman, Oklahoma, about three weeks after he tested positive for COVID-19, the disease associated with the coronavirus. He had been hospitalized in February for pneumonia and was moved to a rehabilitation center, the report said, citing information provided by his family. In mid-April, he was moved to intensive care but was never put on a ventilator.

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a tweet that he was heartbroken for his colleague.

Herring was the oldest of Warren's three brothers. The two others, John Herring and David Herring, are still alive, the report said. Warren often spoke about her siblings during her presidential campaign and how they were raised in Oklahoma, a conservative state. Two of her brothers, Don Reed and David Herring, were Republicans. In January, the three brothers appeared in a campaign video for Warren's White House bid.

In addition to his siblings, Herring is survived by his wife, Judith Anne Hart, and his sons, John and Jeffrey, The Globe reported.