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Thurmond Released From Hospital

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Strom Thurmond, the oldest and longest-serving senator in American history, was released from the hospital once again Monday after a three-day stay for what an aide said was a back problem.

The South Carolina Republican, 97, was released from Walter Reed Army Medical Center at 10 a.m., said spokeswoman Genevieve Erny. An hour later, he was back at his customary task of gaveling the Senate to order for the day's session.

Thurmond's most recent hospitalization, which began Friday morning, was his third in recent days. On May 15 he had been released from Walter Reed after twice being hospitalized for an upset stomach and fatigue.

Erny said doctors ``never made a definitive diagnosis'' about Thurmond's back problem. The senator has been hospitalized repeatedly in recent years for various problems, and had prostate surgery last year.

Thurmond was first elected to the Senate in 1954.
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