Donald Reed Herring, the oldest brother of Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, died on Tuesday from Covid-19. He was 86.
Ms. Warren confirmed Mr. Herring’s death in a series of tweets Thursday morning, calling him “charming and funny, a natural leader.”
My oldest brother, Don Reed, died from coronavirus on Tuesday evening. He joined the Air Force at 19 and spent his career in the military, including five and a half years off and on in combat in Vietnam. He was charming and funny, a natural leader. https://t.co/b8m0xKzAmM
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 23, 2020
“What made him extra special was his smile — quick and crooked, it always seemed to generate its own light, one that lit up everyone around him,” Ms. Warren wrote. “I’m grateful to the nurses and front-line staff who took care of him, but it’s hard to know that there was no family to hold his hand or to say ‘I love you’ one more time — and no funeral for those of us who loved him to hold each other close.”
Mr. Herring was born on June 11, 1933, to Donald Herring and Pauline Reed Herring, Ms. Warren’s office said. He was a career officer in the Air Force, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel, and flew combat missions in Vietnam before retiring from the military in 1973 and starting an auto-detailing business.
In addition to Ms. Warren, he is survived by his wife, Judith Anne Hart; two sons, John and Jeffrey; and two brothers, David and John Herring. His first wife, Nancy, died from cancer.
Ms. Warren spoke about her brothers frequently during her presidential campaign — often noting their military service and that two of the three were Republicans — and they appeared prominently in one of her campaign ads.