Vietnam POW survivor Jeremiah Denton dies

Vietnam POW survivor Jeremiah Denton dies

Credit: DoD photo by Cherie Cullen

Retired rear admiral Jeremiah A. Denton Jr. addresses the audience during the National POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony at the Pentagon on Sept. 18, 2009. Denton spent 7 years and 7 months as a prisoner of war when he was shot down and captured by North Vietnamese troops in 1965.

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Associated Press

Posted on March 28, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 28 at 12:32 PM

Former Alabama Sen. Jeremiah Denton, who survived 7 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam and alerted the U.S. military to conditions there when he blinked the word "torture" in Morse code during a television interview, has died. He was 89. 

Denton's grandson, Edward Denton, says he died about 8 a.m. Friday at a hospice facility in Virginia Beach surrounded by family.  Edward Denton says his grandfather had been in declining health for the past year and died from heart problems.

Denton, a Republican who served a single term in the U.S. Senate, was a strong advocate of conservative causes and backer of the Reagan administration. But the iron will that served him in such good stead in captivity gave rise to criticism that he was too rigid as a politician.

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AP-WF-03-28-14 1619GMT

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