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Former Republican Senator Passes Away At 89, Reportedly After Sudden Illness

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Former Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe passed away Tuesday.

He was 89.

“Inhofe, a Republican, was the state’s longest serving senator from 1994 to 2023 and passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by his wife Kay, his children and other family members,” Fox News reports.

A former senior aide reportedly said Inhofe came down with a sudden, unexpected illness around the 4th of July.

Per Fox News:

James Mountain Inhofe started serving Congress in Washington in 1987 in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 1994. At one point, he was the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Prior to his time in Washington, Inhofe served as the mayor in his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma between 1978 and 1984, according to the Oklahoma Historical Society. He also served in the U.S. Army in 1955-56 and was president of the Quaker Life Insurance Company before entering politics, it added.

Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., described Inhofe on Tuesday as a “dear friend and mentor, a titan in Oklahoma, and a highly effective leader in DC.”

Inhofe was known for calling out fictional climate change.

He famously brought a snowball into the Senate to discredit climate change.

WATCH:

Reuters reports:

Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe, a mainstay of the ideological right in the U.S. Congress and champion of American military strength who derided as a hoax the notion that human activities drove climate change and fought environmental regulations, died on Tuesday at age 89.

The Oklahoma newspaper Tulsa World reported his death, citing sources close to his family. Services are pending, it said.

Inhofe was an avid pilot who in 1991 flew around the world tracing the route taken six decades earlier by aviation pioneer Wiley Post.

A former mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma’s second-largest city, he spent eight years in the U.S. House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 1994. He became the longest-serving and oldest U.S. senator from Oklahoma, retiring in 2023 at age 88, saying he was experiencing long-term effects of COVID-19.

Inhofe earned a reputation as one of the most conservative U.S. senators and was known for aiming caustic barbs at political and ideological adversaries.

During his time as chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, he was a foremost Republican on climate change matters.

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) announced in a December 2020 press release that him and Inhofe received the experimental COVID-19 shot.

“Today, because I wanted to show my confidence in the safety of the vaccine and as part of the continuity of government protocols, I received the COVID-19 vaccine from the Office of the Attending Physician,” Inhofe said.

“I am fully confident in its safety and efficacy, and I urge all Oklahomans and Americans to get the vaccine when it is available to them. Any funding bill must have resources for distribution to make sure the vaccine gets to our frontline health care workers and all Americans,” he added.

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