PEABODY, Mass. (AP) - Former state Massachusetts Senate Majority Leader Frederick Berry, a Democrat from Peabody, has died at the age of 68.
A spokeswoman for Berry's family, his former chief of staff Colleen McGlynn, said in a statement that Berry died peacefully on Tuesday after a brief illness.
Berry was born with cerebral palsy, a condition that affected his speech and mobility. He was an outspoken advocate for people with disabilities during his lengthy career in the Senate.
Berry was first elected to the chamber in 1982 and served as majority leader from 2003 until his retirement a decade later. He held the post under Senate Presidents Robert Travaligini (TRAV'-ah-lee-nee) and Therese Murray.
After leaving the Senate he worked for Northeast Arc, a nonprofit organization that serves children with disabilities and their families.