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Jan 12, 9:09 PM EST

John Tunney, ex-US senator from California, dies at 83


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Former U.S. senator from California John Tunney has died. He was 83.

Brother Jay Tunney says John Tunney died Friday in Santa Monica, California of prostate cancer.

John Tunney was the son of heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney, and was among the youngest people elected to the U.S. Senate in the past century when he won his seat in 1970 at age 36. He then became one of the youngest in recent history to lose a Senate seat when he was defeated after just one term.

His Senate run became the basis for the 1972 Robert Redford film, "The Candidate." The movie's director, Michael Ritchie, had worked for Tunney's campaign.

A New York native and Yale graduate, Tunney also served three terms in the U.S. House starting in 1964.

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