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Posted: Jul 09, 2024 9:25 AMUpdated: Jul 09, 2024 2:21 PM

Former US Sen. Jim Inhofe Dies

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Nathan Thompson

Former U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma has died. He was 89.

Inhofe served as a senator from 1994 to 2023. He is the longest-serving U.S. senator from Oklahoma. He was the mayor of Tulsa from 1978 to 1984 and served as a U.S. congressman from 1987 to 1994.

Inhofe also worked in aviation, real estate, and insurance; he was president of Quaker Life Insurance Company before entering politics.

In the senate, Inhofe was the powerful chairman of Armed Services Committee and the Environment and Public Works Committee. He was instrumental in securing additional water rights for the city of Bartlesville from Copan Lake.

Inhofe’s family issued the following statement:

"Oklahoma’s longest-serving United States Senator James M. Inhofe passed away at 4:48 am this morning after a sudden illness over the holiday.

"He passed peacefully, surrounded by his wife Kay, and his three surviving children, Molly, Jimmy and Katy. His son Perry passed away several years ago in a private airplane accident in Tulsa.

"Inhofe served his beloved state in many capacities over the years. Including in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, the Oklahoma State Senate, as Mayor of Tulsa, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate since 1994. He retired from the Senate in 2023.

"In the U.S. Senate he served as chairman of the Armed Services Committee and as Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. The lifelong aviator once flew a small plane around the world and passed the Pilot’s Bill of Rights."

Bartlesville Mayor Dale Copeland issued the following statement:

"I am saddened to learn of Senator Inhofe's passing. He was a great friend and supporter of Bartlesville and Oklahoma. His tireless efforts in Washington helped us secure additional water supplies, which are ongoing. His years of service to our state and nation leaves a great legacy. We send his family our condolences and prayers during this difficult time."

U.S. Senator James Lankford issued the following statement:

“Cindy and I are deeply saddened about the loss of Oklahoma’s favorite son, Senator Jim Inhofe. We grieve along with our state and nation the loss of a true patriot for our American values and way of life. Jim was an institution in the Senate. He kept his relationship with Jesus, his family, and all Oklahomans as his priority. His passion for our military, aviation, energy, infrastructure, Africa, and our personal freedom was vital for our state and our nation. He was a true legend and a force to be reckoned with.

“Cindy and I pray along with his wife, Kay, their children, grandchildren, friends, and fellow Oklahomans for peace and comfort as they walk through this difficult season.” 

Congressman Josh Brecheen issued the following statement:

“I am very sad to hear of the passing of former Oklahoma United States Senator Jim Inhofe. Jim and his family devoted nearly sixty years of public service for the people of Oklahoma. May the peace that only the Lord can provide be with the Inhofe family during this difficult time.”

Congressman Kevin Hern issued the following statement:

“Senator Jim Inhofe was a dear friend and mentor, a titan in Oklahoma, and a highly effective leader in DC. Tammy and I are keeping Kay and the rest of the Inhofe family in our prayers. Jim spent his life in service to his country, both in uniform and in the halls of Congress. He will always be remembered as a fighter, especially for our military service members. Jim’s legacy of service, leadership, and faith reflect the Oklahoma Standard and the pride he held in his work. Along with the family, friends, and many Oklahomans who knew and loved him, I mourn the loss of a great man.”

Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat issued the following statement:

“Senator Inhofe was a resolute Republican who served his state and nation for nearly six decades in various roles. Unwavering in his beliefs and conservative values, he championed many causes during his career, including his support for the military, national defense and infrastructure. His dedication and influence in shaping policies in both Oklahoma and on a national level have left a lasting impact. My wife Maressa and I send our heartfelt condolences and prayers to his family and many friends.”

Oklahoma House Democratic Leader Cyndi Munson issued the following statement:

“My condolences go out to the family and friends of Senator Jim Inhofe. He was a tenacious leader, state representative, and United States Senator who stood firm in his convictions. He bravely served our country in more ways than one and has left a long lasting impact on the State of Oklahoma.”

Oklahoma House Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols issued the following statement:

“Few have done more than James Mountain Inhofe for the people of Oklahoma. From supporting countless miles of infrastructure development, standing up for Oklahoma farmers and ranchers, his commitment to our men and women in uniform, or his unwavering commitment to conservative values, and so much more, Oklahoma lost an irreplaceable legend.”

Oklahoma Speaker of the House Charles McCall issued the following statement:

"Sen. Jim Inhofe was someone who truly lived up to his middle name of Mountain. A giant in Oklahoma and American politics, his steadfast leadership helped shape the course of our state and nation for decades. His contributions to our nation's military and aviation infrastructure will benefit our country for generations to come, and his commitment to his conservative values was unwavering. There are few who have served in the U.S. Senate who were as well-respected and revered as Sen. Inhofe, and we truly will not see his like again. My condolences go out to his family during this extremely difficult time."

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