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Thu May 30, 2019, 12:43 PM

Longtime GOP Sen. Thad Cochran dies at 81

Longtime GOP Sen. Thad Cochran dies at 81
By Jordain Carney - 05/30/19 10:54 AM EDT

Former Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who served in Congress for more than 45 years, died early Thursday morning at the age of 81.

Cochran, who served most recently as the Senate Appropriations Committee chairman, resigned from the Senate in April 2018 because of health concerns, which he described at the time as an "ongoing challenge."

He passed away peacefully in Oxford, Miss., according to a statement from former aides Brad White and Chris Gallegos.

"Cochranís family extends its gratitude for the support shown to the Senator by Mississippians over the years," they said in the statement.

Cochran was known in the Senate for his quiet, polite and gentle demeanor in the Senate, where his colleagues described him as a "quintessentially Southern gentleman." He was dubbed the "quiet persuader" in 2006 by Time.

"Some people say that Thad Cochran is the last true southern gentleman, and I think theres's a lot of truth to that. Some people say that he represents the lost art of being nice," Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who succeeded Cochran as Appropriations Committee chairman, said after Cochran's retirement announcement last year.



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