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Sen. Patrick Leahy announces retirement: a look back on his career(39 images)

At 81, after serving nine terms on the U.S. Senate, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., announced that he will not seek re-election and retire next year. Leahy is the longest-serving Democrat in the Senate after first being elected in 1974. Here's look at his career through the years.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee confer during a series of votes in Washington, D.C., on June 27, 1985, on the nomination of William Bradford Reynolds for a Justice Department promotion. Sens. Patrick Leahy (left to right), D-Vt., Joseph Biden, D-Del., Paul Laxalt, R-Nev., Orin Hatch, R-Utah (partly hidden by Sen. Strom Thurmond), Thurmond R-S.C. (back to camera in foreground), Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and Robert J. Short, the committee's chief investigator. UPI File Photo
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Leahy waves while passing in front of the doors to the U.S. Senate Chamber shortly before Day 2 of the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton was to begin in Washington, D.C., on January 15, 1999. Photo by Ian Wagreich/UPI
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President Bill Clinton (L) hands pens to guests as Leahy looks on, after the president signed the 2000 Budget at the White House in Washington, D.C., on November 29, 1999. UPI File Photo
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Sen. Orrin Hatch (L), R-Utah, watches as Leahy takes a photo of the media outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on December 11, 2000. Photo by Bill Clark/UPI
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