NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Harlan Mathews, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Al Gore after he was elected vice president in 1992, died Friday. He was 87.
A family spokesman said Mathews died at a hospice in Nashville with his wife, Pat, by his side. He had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Lamar Alexander, a former two-term governor who succeeded Thompson in the Senate, said Mathews was a much loved figure in state government.
"Except for his great friend Ned McWherter, no one had more friends around the state Capitol than Harlan Mathews did," Alexander said. "He served our state and our country with distinction."
In addition to his wife, Pat, Mathews is survived by sons Stan and Les Mathews and granddaughters Katie Zipper and Emily Mathews.