St. Louis Milton Oscar Talent, a retired attorney and father of Republican Senate candidate Jim Talent, died early Sunday after a brief illness. He was 91.
Jim Talent's campaign said election activities would go on, but without personal participation of the former congressman or his immediate family while funeral arrangements are made.
The death of Talent's father was the latest sad chapter of a campaign made somber by Friday's death of Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone and seven others in a plane crash.
That crash had eerie parallels to the plane crash two years ago that killed Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan, husband of Democratic Sen. Jean Carnahan, whom Talent is trying to unseat in the Nov. 5 special election.
"The Talent family appreciates your thoughts and prayers in this difficult time," Talent's campaign said in a statement Sunday.
Milton Talent, who was widowed, was hospitalized last Monday after a fall at home. Jim Talent received news of his father's hospitalization after concluding his first televised debate with Mrs. Carnahan.
Reassured by his father's doctors, Talent briefly ventured back to campaigning, and completed a second televised debate with Carnahan.
Milton Talent joined the Navy immediately after Pearl Harbor and served during World War II. He joined the National Labor Relations Board as a staff attorney and later opened a private law practice in St. Louis, specializing in labor law.
In addition to his son Jim, Milton Talent is survived by his daughter Barb and son Chuck, both of the St. Louis area.