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Head of European Parliament dies after battling pneumonia last year

Francisco Seco / Associated Press

European Parliament President David Sassoli died on Tuesday after battling pneumonia last year. 

Sassoli, a 65-year-old socialist, passed away in an Italian hospital after he was hospitalized on Dec. 26, The Associated Press reported

He had been in the hospital for the past couple weeks due to his immune system functioning abnormally, per the wire service.

Sassoli was a “sincere and passionate European. We already miss his human warmth, his generosity, his friendliness and his smile,” European Council President Charles Michel said.

Sassoli contracted pneumonia caused by the legionella bacteria in September and had declining health since the illness, according to the AP. 

He had to miss multiple legislative meetings due to his illness, but fought to work as much as he could, per the wire service.

Sassoli served as the head of the European Union’s parliament for the past 2 1/2 years and as a member of the body for a decade before that.

“Everyone loved his smile and his kindness, yet he knew how to fight for what he believed in,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

Sassoli will be buried at Rome’s Santa Maria degli Angeli on Friday. Sassoli left behind his wife, Alessandra Vittorini, and two children, the AP reported.

Tags Charles Michel David Sassoli European Parliament European Union Ursula von der Leyen

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