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State Senator Recovering After Collapsing During Al Smith Dinner

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Legendary Staten Island State Senator John Marchi is recovering comfortably at a Manhattan hospital Friday, after fainting at one of the state's biggest political events of the year.

The 85-year-old Republican passed out and fell out of his chair at the annual Alfred E. Smith dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria. A spokesman says Marchi was awake when he was escorted out of the building.

The senator is reportedly feeling much better at New York Presbyterian Hospital and could be released either later Friday or Saturday.

Marchi has been in office more than 50 years and is the longest-serving legislator in the United States. He plans to retire later this year.

The dinner, hosted by the New York Archdiocese, brought together political heavyweights from both sides of the aisle and raises money for hospitals and health care providers within the Archdiocese.

Politicians past and present were all in attendance, including many of those up for election or re-election next month.

The event was emceed by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams.

"I am well aware of the proud and fine history of this evening. This is a non-political event and my name's Katie Couric," Williams joked.

Smith, for whom the annual event is named, was the first Roman Catholic nominee for president in 1928. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP