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Thad Cochran (1937–2019), longtime US senator from Mississippi

by Kirk Fox

Called “The Quiet Persuader” for his low profile consensus building in the Senate.

Thad Cochran was a longtime senator from the state of Mississippi, serving as a Republican from 1978 until he resigned his seat in April 2018, for health concerns. He was known as “Gentleman Thad” and “The Quiet Persuader” for his low-key manner. As chairman of the Appropriations committee when Katrina struck in 2005, he used his position to convince Congress to provide $29 billion in disaster aid for areas hit by the hurricane.

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Died: Thursday, May 30, 2019. (Who else died on May 30?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 81 in Oxford, Mississippi.

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What they said about him:  “When I say he preferred making a difference to making a fuss, I really mean it. This man served in the Senate for seven terms and only appeared on ‘Meet the Press’ twice. No, Thad had other business to attend to. He spent his thirty-nine years in this body working full-time for students and educators.” —Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the senate floor in 2018

“He was, without question, one of the most impactful senators in agricultural policy in the last hundred years.” —Senator Roy Blunt

Full obituary: Clarion Ledger

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