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(NECN: Newport, RI) - Former President Bill Clinton and other dignitaries gathered this morning to mourn former Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell.
"There was something almost magical about this man who was born to aristocracy, but cared about people like the people I grew up with," said Clinton.
The funeral liturgy took place at Trinity Episcopal Church in Newport, Rhode Island.
"Claiborne Pell never forgot the lessons of the early part of this century and WWII and the end of it, and he never thought that America could be divorced from the world," said the former president.
<a href="http://www.necn.com/Boston/Politics/2009/01/05/Kennedy-remembers-days-at-sea/1231168809.html" target="_blank">Click here to watch the eulogy by Kennedy.</a>
<a href="http://www.necn.com/Boston/Politics/2009/01/05/Biden-Pell-was-ahead-of-his/1231171322.html" target="_blank">Click here to watch the eulogy by Biden.</a>
<a href="http://www.necn.com/Boston/Politics/2009/01/05/Reed-Pell-dedicated-life-to/1231172063.html" target="_blank">Click here to watch the eulogy by Reed.</a>
<a href="http://www.necn.com/Boston/Politics/2009/01/05/Pell-grandson-He-came-through/1231172684.html" target="_blank">Click here to watch the eulogy by Pell's grandson.</a>
The Democrat died Thursday after a long battle with Parkinson's disease at the age of 90. Pell created the federal education grants that helped millions of Americans afford college. He was first elected to the Senate in 1960.
He sponsored legislation creating the Basic
Educational Opportunity Grant program, which passed in 1972 and
provided direct aid to college students.
Pell was also the main Senate sponsor of the 1965 law creating
the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for
the Humanities. He participated in the 1945 San Francisco
conference that wrote the United Nations charter and served in the
U.S. foreign service for seven years.
Pell left office in January 1997 after his sixth term.