LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - U. S. Senator Richard Lugar died Sunday morning, according to a release from the Lugar Center.
Lugar was a senator from 1977 to 2013, before that serving as Mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1975.
After his career in politics, Lugar continued work through the Lugar Center, focused on global food security and aid effectiveness.
He was a professor at Indiana University and led the Richard G. Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders at the University of Indianapolis. He held 46 honorary degrees from universities around the country, and Queen Elizabeth bestowed upon him the rank of honorary Knight Commander.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issued the following statement on Lugar’s death:
“The world weeps alongside Indiana after just learning we lost one of our best, ever.
“As an always faithful servant to the highest ideals in every walk of his incredible life, Richard Lugar ran the family farm, charted a new innovative course for Indiana’s capital city, and devoted a record six terms as a U.S. Senator to making the world a more prosperous and peaceful place.
“He was an officer and gentleman, father and faith leader, a Mayor and Senator, a diplomat and legendary role model to millions.
“Janet and I are keeping Mrs. Lugar and their wonderful family in our prayers and ask all those touched by his service to join us.”
He was the longest serving member of Congress in Indiana’s history.
President Barack Obama named him a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued the following statement:
“I am deeply saddened by the death of my good friend and longtime colleague Senator Richard Lugar. Along with so many of my current and former Senate colleagues who were privileged to serve alongside him, I am mourning with and praying for Charlene and the entire Lugar family.
“In so many ways my friend Dick was the consummate U.S. Senator. He combined the principled commitments of a patriot with the political instincts of a savvy legislator. He was a wise counselor and leading voice within the Republican conference and an inexhaustible bipartisan collaborator who earned the admiration of everyone across the political spectrum. And even as he built mastery over key national and international issues, he was Indiana’s devoted son the whole way -- which is why Hoosiers made him their longest-serving Senator in history.
“Sen. Lugar’s expert dedication to U.S. foreign policy and world affairs defined his career and helped shape the post-Cold War order. In particular, the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program and his other work to monitor and decommission dangerous weapons of mass destruction as the Soviet Union fell apart is more than just one statesman’s legacy. It is an historic global achievement. Thousands of warheads, hundreds of missiles, and whole stockpiles of chemical weapons have been neutralized thanks in huge part to Dick Lugar.
“Sen. Lugar leaves behind a sea of admirers and a loving family. He leaves behind many colleagues -- like me -- whose careers owe much to his wisdom and generosity. And he leaves behind a world that is measurably much safer for his efforts. A remarkable legacy for a remarkable public servant.”
Representatives of Senator Lugar say his cause of death was complications from Chronic Inflammatory Demylinating Polyneuropathy (CIPD).
He’s survived by wife Char and four sons.