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Jim King, the former president of the Florida Senate widely recognized as one of the state's most powerful politicians, died from pancreatic cancer in July at age 69.

Jim King, the former president of the Florida Senate widely recognized as one of the state's most powerful politicians, died from pancreatic cancer in July at age 69. A Republican, he served in the Legislature for 23 years and was recognized as a statesman who transcended partisanship. He was the key champion of the state's death-with-dignity law, which prevented a reinsertion of a feeding tube to keep Terri Schiavo alive against the wishes of her husband. He voted with the Democrats and said at the time, "I think Terri's better off in heaven than in bed." A man of great girth and humor, King said it was a "mid-life crisis" that led him into politics. Hailed as the "lion of the Senate," his chief of staff, Gus Corbella, said, "His heart was bigger than his waistline.... He was a character of such great character."

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Title Annotation:People & Politics
Publication:State Legislatures
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2009
Words:144
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