Former Sen. Jim Inhofe dead at 89: family

(The Hill) — Former Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) has died at the age of 89, his family announced Tuesday.

Inhofe died shortly before 5 a.m. on Tuesday, surrounded by his wife, Kay, and three surviving children, Molly, Jimmy and Katy, the family said.

Inhofe’s family said he contracted a sudden illness over the holiday, but did not provide details. 

His death comes nearly two years after the former senator retired from the upper chamber in 2023 after serving for more than 20 years in Congress. He was Oklahoma’s longest-serving U.S. senator. 

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, speaks during a hearing to review the Air Force's Defense Authorization Request for fiscal year 2023, Tuesday, May 3, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Prior to his time in the Senate, Inhofe served in the House and as the mayor of Tulsa for six years.

Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) paid tribute to Inhofe in a statement Tuesday, calling the late senator a “dear friend and mentor, a titan in Oklahoma and a higher effective leader in D.C.”

"He will always be remembered as a fighter, especially for our military service members," Hern wrote in a statement. "Jim’s legacy of service, leadership, and faith reflect the Oklahoma Standard and the pride he held in his work."

“Along with the family, friends, and many Oklahomans who knew and loved him, I mourn the loss of a great man,” he added.


Al Weaver contributed to this report.

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