They lauded his work ethic and his service. They praised his patriotism and his devotion to family.

As news of Beau Biden's death spread on Sunday, reactions poured in from politicians who knew and admired the vice president's son.

Mr. Biden, 46, died of brain cancer Saturday. The eldest child of Vice President Biden, Joseph Robinette "Beau" Biden III had battled the disease for several years.

A former Delaware attorney general and major in the Delaware Army National Guard's Judge Advocate General Corps, Beau Biden was considered a rising political star and, until he became seriously ill, a front-runner in the 2016 Delaware governor's race.

He was also a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia for nine years.

Rep. Bob Brady (D., Pa.), expressed condolences to the Biden family in a statement.

"Former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden followed in his father's tradition of outstanding service to his country as a member of the military and an accessible and dedicated public servant," Brady said. "This is such a loss to the Biden family, the people of Delaware, and the nation."

Sen. Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, also lauded Beau Biden in a statement, calling him "an extraordinary father, husband, son, and public servant, but above all . . . a good and decent man."

He "never shied away from doing the right thing, even when it meant doing the hard thing," Coons said. "Beau served his country and community with honor, and that is how he will be remembered."

Sen. Tom Carper (D., Del.), said he first met Beau Biden when he was 6 years old.

"It's been a privilege to watch him grow up and become a leader in our state and in the Delaware National Guard," Carper said in a statement. He said his last memory of Mr. Biden was at a parade in Delaware just after last November's election, when Carper was shaking hands and Biden was traveling in a National Guard vehicle.

"For a moment, our eyes met, then he waved to me and I to him," Carper said. "Then he mouthed these words to me, 'I love you.' I smiled and returned them to him. And, he was gone."

Rep. John Carney (D., Del.) said that Mr. Biden had a "warm and generous spirit. . . . He was one of the best of the good guys."

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, said Biden was "extraordinarily in tune with people. He was passionate about serving. . . . I think it's important that people know what a real, genuine, decent guy he was."

Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement of Beau Biden: "He was filled with a sense of honor, duty and humility - to the core. He was a class act, period; ingrained with integrity, compassion, and a sense of moral obligation to help others, and especially people who were hurting."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, (D., Nev.) said that Beau Biden "embodied the best and most noble traits that his parents sought to instill in him. I know Joe is very proud, and he should be proud because Beau was simply a joy to know."

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, said of Mr. Biden: "He was a 'mensch' in the truest sense of the word."

Beau Biden is survived by his wife, Hallie, and children Natalie and Hunter; his father and stepmother, Jill Biden; a brother and sister; a sister-in-law and brother-in-law; and three nieces.

Funeral arrangements were not announced.

'He was a rock star'

Here are some comments about Beau Biden, former Delaware Attorney General and son of Vice President Biden. He died of brain cancer at age 46 Saturday, nearly two years after he was first diagnosed.

"I never heard a disparaging word about him as a person."

- Former Delaware governor and Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Castle.

"It was an honor to serve alongside him as he worked tirelessly to fight for the powerless and protect the most vulnerable, our children."

- Dennis P. Williams, Democratic mayor of Beau Biden's hometown of Wilmington.

"The good die young. . . . He was a rock star."

- New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon, a longtime friend and Delaware political ally of Vice President Biden.

"He leaves behind a lasting impact on the world around him. He will be missed."

- Charlie Copeland, chairman of the Delaware Republican Party.

"From serving our country in Iraq to serving his beloved home of Delaware as attorney general, Beau Biden dedicated his life to a cause greater than himself. He will be deeply missed but remembered lovingly for lives he touched."

- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

- Associated Press