The life and legacy of Senator Thad Cochran

“Quiet, but powerful,” was how former United States Senator Thad Cochran was described. Senator Cochran passed away this morning at a veteran’s nursing home in Oxford at the age of 81.

Politicians from across the state today mourned the life and legacy left behind by Senator Cochran.

“A true Mississippi hero” is how former Senator Thad Cochran is described. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, the woman who replaced Cochran in Washington, D.C. last year, had kind words for the man who represented our state for decades. “Senator Thad Cochran was an incredible leader and a most respected member of the U.S. Senate. My colleagues who served with him consistently speak of him with such high regard. He treated everyone with distinction and had a caring and concerned heart for his constituents and the state he so dearly loved.”

After graduating from the University of Mississippi, Cochran entered the Navy where he served for three years. Cochran’s political career began in 1972 when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Following years in the House, Cochran was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978, becoming the first Republican senator from Mississippi since reconstruction. Senator Roger Wicker said, “He’s accomplished so much for our state and nation, our defense is stronger now because of Senator Thad Cochran. Our agricultural economy, both in Mississippi and nationwide, is stronger because of Senator Thad Cochran.”

While Cochran was stationed in Washington, D.C., he continued to work hard for his state, fighting for almost $30 billion in disaster relief funds for the Mississippi Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina. Lt. Governor Tate Reeves said, “The Mississippi Gulf Coast would not look like it does today were it not for Senator Cochran and the efforts that he put forth in Washington to work with Governor Barber and everyone else that was working so hard in the private sector to bring Mississippi’s Coast back.”

Cochran represented Mississippi in Washington, D.C. for four decades, ultimately stepping down in 2018 during his seventh term due to his declining health.

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