Washington CNN  — 

Former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford announced Sunday that he is marrying a man 50 years his junior, almost 20 years after his wife died.

Wofford, a Democrat who was also a top adviser to John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., announced his marriage to Matthew Charlton in a New York Times op-ed published Sunday.

“Too often, our society seeks to label people by pinning them on the wall – straight, gay or in between,” Wofford wrote. “I don’t categorize myself based on the gender of those I love. I had a half-century of marriage with a wonderful woman, and now am lucky for a second time to have found happiness.”

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Wofford’s wife, Clare, died in 1996 after battling acute leukemia. He wrote of their close bond and the balance between him, the romantic, and her, a realist.

“I assumed that I was too old to seek or expect another romance,” Wofford wrote of his wife’s death. “But five years later, standing on a beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I sensed a creative hour and did not want to miss it.”

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Wofford, 75 at the time, wrote of meeting Charlton, then 25, on the beach.

“We both felt the immediate spark, and as time went on, we realized that our bond had grown into love,” he wrote. “Other than with Clare, I had never felt love blossom this way before.”