Harlan Mathews, 87, appointed to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Al Gore after he was elected vice president in 1992, died Friday.

A family spokesman said Mr. 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 Mr. 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." - AP