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Ex-Sen. Mike Mansfield Returns Home

September 10, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Former Sen. Mike Mansfield, the 98-year-old Montana Democrat who was majority leader for a record 15 years, is at home resting after a pacemaker was implanted in his chest, friends said Monday.

Mansfield underwent surgery Friday and was discharged from Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Sunday.

``He’s planning to return to work. The doctors said he could come in today (Monday), but he decided to stay home because he has company,″ said Barbara Hickey, Mansfield’s assistant at the Washington office of Goldman Sachs & Co., the New York investment firm for which Mansfield works as a Far East consultant.

Mansfield went into the hospital on Aug. 20 after feeling weak, said Charles Ferris, a Washington lawyer who served as counsel to Mansfield when the former senator was majority leader from 1961 to 1976.

Doctors debated whether to implant the pacemaker, fearing the invasive surgery would do more harm than good, Hickey said. But in the end Mansfield was deemed fit enough for the procedure.

``He’s got tremendous resilience,″ Ferris said. ``He’s doing great. He walked out of the hospital on his own.″

Mansfield served 34 years in Congress, both in the House and the Senate. He retired in 1976 but kept his home in Washington.

The next year, then-President Jimmy Carter named Mansfield ambassador to Japan. Republicans captured the White House in 1980, but President Ronald Reagan asked Mansfield to stay on and he remained ambassador until 1988.

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