The first African American elected to the Senate by popular vote, Edward Brooke of Massachusetts served two full terms, from 1967 to 1979. Born in Washington, DC, in 1919, Brooke graduated from Howard University before serving in the United States Army during World War II. After the war, he received a law degree from Boston University. During his Senate career he championed the causes of low-income housing and an increased minimum wage, and promoted commuter rail and mass transit systems. He also worked tirelessly to promote racial equality in the South. Senator Brooke received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a White House ceremony on June 23, 2004.