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Alan Dixon, Former Democratic Senator, Dies At 86

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Sens, Robert Byrd, D-W, Va., left, Richard Lugar, R-Ind., right: and Alan Dixon, D-Ill., talk on Capitol Hill Tuesday evening May 16, 1989 after the Senate voted 52-47 to endorse the agreement for the United States and Japan to coproduce the new FSX jet fighter. Lawmakers then adopted, 72-27, an amendment by Byrd imposing new and tougher conditions on the coproduction arrangement aimed at assuring Japan does not receive vital U.S. aerospace technology. (AP Photo/John Duricka) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHICAGO (AP) — Former Democratic U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon of Illinois has died.

His son Jeffrey Dixon tells The Associated Press that the 86-year-old died Sunday at his home in Fairview Heights. He had recently been hospitalized for heart problems, but his condition had improved and he had returned home.

Dixon served in the U.S. Senate from 1981 to 1993. He also had a long career in state politics, serving in the Illinois House, Illinois Senate and as the state's treasurer and secretary of state.

He lost the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat in 1992 to Carol Moseley Braun. She was the first African-American woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

The Belleville-born Dixon was an attorney.

His memoir titled "The Gentleman from Illinois" was published in 2013.

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