Sen. Thad Cochran leaves the U.S. Capitol following early morning votes in February 2018. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Former Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) died on Thursday morning at age 81, following health concerns that led him to resign from the Senate in 2018, the office of his successor Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith has announced.
Context: Cochran represented Mississippi in Congress for more than 45 years, serving as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Senate Agriculture Committee during his run.
- Cochran was a U.S. Navy veteran and the 10th longest-serving senator in the U.S.
- His election to the Senate in 1978 marked the first time in more than a century that a Republican won a statewide election in Mississippi.
- Cochran primarily sponsored bills on issues related to health, economics and public finance, and public lands and natural resources, and helped steer billions of dollars to Mississippi, according to AP.
- Cochran's successor, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), is the first female Senator elected in Mississippi.