Coroner's Office: Rep. Kucinich's Brother Dead

Dennis Kucinich on Wednesday announced the death of his brother Perry J. Kucinich in a press statement released after the Democratic presidential candidate fled Washington to join his family in Cleveland.

The younger brother of the Ohio congressman was 51. The cause of death was not yet known.

The Cuyahoga County Coroner's office said the residence and body of Perry Kucinich showed no signs of foul play, and an autopsy was being performed to determine cause of death.

Powell Caesar, spokesman for the office of Dr. Frank Miller, said Perry Kucinich was found face down by another brother, Larry, at about 9 a.m., at his home in an east-side Cleveland neighborhood.

Larry Kucinich had taken his brother shopping Tuesday and then took him home but couldn't get an answer when he tried calling him Wednesday, Caesar said.

The statement released by the lawmaker said Perry Kucinich was a talented artist whose was inspired by the works of Pablo Picasso and Klee. His work had recently been displayed at a local art gallery, and the congressman had been working with his brother on another showing in the spring.

"He was a genius. He had extraordinary insights. Although he struggled with mental illness, with the help of his family and friends, he was able to lead a productive life," said Kucinich, 61.

Perry Kucinich was the fifth of seven children whose history were chronicled recently in a book penned by the congressman.

Kucinich Press Secretary Natalie Laber said the congressman was very upset by the news.

"He was very close to Perry and he's taking this very hard," Laber said.

"The Kucinich family is very close knit," said family spokesman Andy Juniewicz. "This is a devastating loss to each and every member of the Kucinich family. Dennis was very close to his brother Perry. He watched after him, and he loved him dearly. The two spoke nearly every day. He was more like Dennis’ son than his brother."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.