Michigan's 86-year-old former senator doesn't make a big deal about a medical condition not mentioned publicly until this week, through it sounds potentially serious.
A Detroit Free Press feature on his new memoir also is low-key. Freelancer Ellen Piligian waits until paragraph 11 to drop this eye-opener:
He reveals for the first time that he has been living since age 83 with a lung cancer diagnosis, though it doesn't appear to have slowed him down too much.
Sunday's article has no other mention of the former senator's medical status.
His 392-page book from Wayne State University Press, titled "Getting to the Heart of the Matter," runs from childhood in Detroit's Boston-Edison area through his Senate retirement in 2015. Piligian, a Freep staffer from 2008-12, writes:
The book, like Levin himself, can feel a bit like a seminar, a history lesson on how government works and how it sometimes doesn't. ...
"I always wanted to write a memoir if I had the time," says Levin, 86, who lives in Detroit with his wife of 60 years, Barbara, with whom he has three daughters and six grandchildren. "There were important lessons I learned along the way."
The process took about two years. "It takes a lot of time to do it right, to go over it, and re-edit it and re-edit it and re-edit it,” the influential Democrat is quoted as saying. He also reflects on aging and, at least indirectly, on his cancer diagnosis:
"Retirement has reinforced an instinct my mother instilled in me — acceptance of whatever the passage of time and Mother Nature have in store for us, as we grow old."