WASHINGTON - Former US Senator Arlen Specter, a major political figure in Pennsylvania and Washington for more than four decades, died on Sunday of complications from non-Hodgkins lymphoma at age 82, according to US media reports.

Specter had announced in August that he was once again fighting cancer.

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A political moderate, Specter was a five-term US senator from Pennsylvania, serving as a Republican until he switched parties and became a Democrat in 2009. He said at the time the Republican Party had moved too far to the right.