Carl Levin, Michigan's longest-serving senator, dies at 87

In this June 4, 2013, file photo, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. asks a question of a witness during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on legislation regarding sexual assaults in the military. Former Sen. Carl Levin, a powerful voice for the military during his career as Michigan's longest-serving U.S. senator, has died. The Democrat was 87. Levin's family says Levin died Thursday, July 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

DETROIT (AP) - Famous for gazing over eyeglasses worn on the end of his nose, Carl Levin seemed at ease wherever he went, whether attending a college football game back home in Michigan or taking on a multibillion-dollar corporation before cameras on Capitol Hill.

Michigan's longest-serving U.S. senator had a slightly rumpled, down-to-earth demeanor that helped him win over voters throughout his 36-year career, as did his staunch support for the hometown auto industry. But the Harvard-educated attorney also was a respected voice on military issues, spending years leading the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee.

Despite his record tenure and status, he kept his role in perspective. At his direction, the portraits of all 38 senators who had served before or with him since Michigan's statehood in 1837 were hung in his office conference room.