OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) - Former U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran passed away early Thursday morning in Oxford, U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith confirmed.
Cochran, 81, a Navy veteran, represented Mississippi in Congress for more than 45 years.
“One of Mississippi’s greatest public servants passed today. His life’s work is imprinted on each of us through his leadership in education, agriculture, hurricane relief, and his calm approach to the major issues impacting our State and our Country.” - Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.
“Sen. Cochran was a true statesman and served our state with class and distinction,” said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn. “Lisa and I express our condolences to his family and pray for their comfort during this time of loss.”
"Senator Cochran distinguished himself in service to our nation as a member of the United States Navy and as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator," State Rep. Trent Kelly said. "He served our great state of Mississippi and exemplified what it means to be a faithful public servant and impactful leader. I am honored to have called him a friend."
“Thad Cochran was a giant in the United States Senate and one of the greatest champions Mississippi has ever known,” U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker stated.
Cochran resigned from the Senate in April 2018 due to health concerns.
Hyde-Smith was elected to fill his seat later that year.
"Senator Cochran has left a legacy of public service that should serve as an inspiration for all Americans," Gov. Phil Bryant stated.
Bryant requested that flags be flown at half-staff in Mississippi.
"Very sad to hear the news on the passing of my friend, Senator Thad Cochran," President Donald Trump tweeted.