Former Senator Jim Inhofe has died at the age of 89

Oklahoma’s longest-serving United States Senator James M. Inhofe passed away at
4:48 am after a stroke over the holiday. The family is very grateful for the extraordinary care staff and doctors of the 7th floor NeuroTrauma Intensive Care Unit of St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa. 

Inhofe served as a United States senator from Oklahoma from 1994 to 2023. He is the longest-serving U.S. senator from Oklahoma.

His family released the following statement after his death, “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.

Senator Inhofe with Steve Thompson

Inhofe was born in Iowa but grew up in Tulsa, attending Central High School and the University of Tulsa. Before his time in the Senate, he served in the United States House of Representatives from 1987 to 1994 and was the 32nd Mayor of Tulsa from 1978 to 1984. According to the Oklahoma Historical Society, he is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army in the 1950s.

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

He is survived by his wife, Kay Inhofe, and three of their four children.

Sources say he passed peacefully and surrounded by family after a sudden illness over the 4th of July holiday.
Representative Kevin Hern released a statement following his death saying: “Senator Jim Inhofe was a dear friend and mentor, a titan in Oklahoma, and a highly effective leader in DC,” said Rep. Hern. “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.”

Mike Neal, the president and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber also made a statement saying:
“The Tulsa Regional Chamber mourns the death of former U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, who spent his entire professional career seeking to enrich the lives of Oklahomans. As a former Tulsa mayor, Congressman and the longest-serving U.S. senator from Oklahoma, Inhofe was the consummate public servant, unafraid to advocate for his constituents, particularly in the areas of transportation, infrastructure and the armed services.

“We are especially grateful to the former senator for several recent wins, including full funding of the Tulsa/West Tulsa Levees, a longtime priority within the Chamber’s OneVoice Regional Legislative Agenda. He also led the effort to designate U.S. Highway 412 as an interstate, and he oversaw reforms to help address the maintenance backlog of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System.

“The breadth of Senator Inhofe’s impact on Oklahoma and the members of its business community is immeasurable. We applaud his commitment to our great state and offer our condolences to Kay and his wonderful family.”

Article courtesy of News 9, OKC

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