(CNN) New Mexico Sen. John D. Pinto, a former World War II Navajo Code Talker, died Friday morning, according to a statement from his family.

Pinto was 94 and was the longest-serving senator in New Mexico, where he had been serving since 1977, according to New Mexico’s Senate website.

“He dedicated his life to public service. He worked tirelessly throughout his lifetime to serve the Diné people,” the Pinto family’s statement read. Diné is a Navajo term meaning people.

“The family would like to express their gratitude to his constituents and fellow legislators for allowing him to serve, it is what truly made him happy.”

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