By Special Contributor Larry Kane

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, the outspoken Pennsylvania centrist whose switch from Republican to Democrat ended a 30-year career in which he played a pivotal role in several Supreme Court nominations, died Sunday. He was 82. (see related story)

READ MORE: Experts Weigh In On How To Handle Icy Conditions As Freezing Temperatures Expected To Return To Philadelphia Region

Arlen Specter was a very likable guy.

He was always a man who is upfront and certainly fun to be with and had a great sense of humor. He considered himself a comedian and when he went to the comedy club in Philadelphia, he was very well-received.

PHOTOS: Arlen Specter Through The Years

When he lost the office, I think it was a devastating blow to him. I truly believe that it was difficult for him to cope with because he had been in office for so long.

READ MORE: Investigators Identify 2 People Killed In Camden County Crash Involving Fire Truck

He wasn’t afraid to call it like it was.

See Also: Political Figures React To Death Of Arlen Specter

In the book that he wrote, he takes on all the partisan politicians of the U.S. Senate who blocked and obstructed legislation in the last several years. So it’s safe to say that with Jim DeMint and some of the Tea Party favorites in the U.S. Congress, he is not a popular person.

As a senator, he will be remembered as one of the great ones of the 20th century and beyond.

MORE NEWS: No Amount Of Alcohol Is Good For The Heart, New Report Says, But Critics Disagree On Science