Friday, December 2, 2022

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi Died Thursday

“I will now return to my beloved Mississippi and my family and friends there. I will miss this stately Chamber and this city. I will not miss this power or politics. I will miss people: you, my colleagues. I will treasure your courtesy and kindness. I trust, if your travels bring you to Oxford, MS, you will not hesitate to visit and join me for a refreshment on the porch. We can listen to the mockingbirds together.” — Thad Cochran, Farewell Address, March 2018

Thad Cochran died Thursday morning.

U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who represented Mississippi in Congress for more than 45 years, died early Thursday morning in Oxford, according to an official press release this morning. 

Services are pending.

Cochran, a Navy veteran who eventually served as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Senate Agriculture Committee, resigned from the Senate in April 2018 due to health concerns.

Born in Pontotoc, Cochran graduated from the University of Mississippi. He served in the United States Navy as an ensign from 1959 to 1961 before graduating from the University of Mississippi School of Law. After practicing law for several years in Jackson, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1972. He served three terms in the House representing Jackson and portions of southwest Mississippi.

Cochran won a three-way race for U.S. Senate in 1978. He was subsequently reelected to six additional terms by wide margins. Cochran was the second longest-served member of Congress ever from Mississippi, only after former Democratic Congressman Jamie L. Whitten.

After Cochran announced his retirement in March 2018, Sen. Roger Wicker said of his friend and fellow Mississippian:

As Thad Cochran departs the Senate in a few days, I think it is 
appropriate for us to reflect, as my friend from Tennessee and my 
friend from Texas have already done, and as others will do, about the 
great footprints Senator Thad Cochran will have left in the sands of 
time for our Nation.
  Because of Thad Cochran, our Nation's defense is stronger today.
  Because of the efforts of our colleague from Mississippi, my senior 
Senator, Americans are healthier today and will continue to be 

Cochran’s family extends its gratitude for the support shown to the Senator by Mississippians over the years. staff report