(CNN) - Vice President-elect Joe Biden issued a statement Thursday responding to the death of former Sen. Claiborne Pell.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Pell family as they mourn the loss of one of our country's greatest public servants. Claiborne Pell was a man of extraordinary integrity, grace and decency. Chairman Pell was a mentor to me and one of our nation's most important voices in foreign policy for over 30 years," Biden said in the statement.
"He was a leader in the effort to reduce the size of the world's nuclear arsenal and to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. Few Senators have done more to expand opportunity in America. Because of Senator Pell and the Pell Grant, the doors of college have been opened to millions of Americans - and will continue to be opened to millions more. That is a legacy that will live on for generations to come."