Former Republican Senator James Inhofe Has Passed Away at 89

Image: @SenateGOP/X

The Oklahoman reports that James Inhofe, the firebrand Republican Senator, Tuesday at age 89.

Inhofe served more than six decades in public life, serving in the Oklahoma Legislature, as mayor of Tulsa, in the U.S. House of Representatives, and in the U.S. Senate. He is the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Oklahoma history.

The Senator announced his retirement in 2022.

Inhofe was a defense hawk who served as the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He was also a former chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, where he upset environmentalists with his vocal denunciations of the climate change hoax.

From The Oklahoman:

One of the Senator’s colleagues, Tulsa Congressman Kevin Hern said Inhofe was a dear friend and mentor and a titan in Oklahoma.

“Tammy and I are keeping Kay and the rest of the Inhofe family in our prayers,” Hern said in a media statement. “Jim spent his life in service to his country, both in uniform and in the halls of Congress. He will always be remembered as a fighter, especially for our military service members. 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.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement following the news:

I was saddened to learn this morning that our longtime former colleague, and my good friend, Jim Inhofe, passed away overnight. For nearly three decades, the Senator for Oklahoma lived up to his unique and distinguished middle name: Jim was a Mountain of a man.

The people he served, a group much larger than the proud residents of the Sooner State, were better for it. Jim’s diligent stewardship of massive infrastructure projects transformed life across the Heartland. His relentless advocacy for American energy dominance unlocked new prosperity across the country. And his laser focus on growing and modernizing the U.S. military strengthened the security of the entire free world.

Jim’s professional legacy was one that any aspiring legislator would dream of. But the legacy our friend was most proud of was the one that had surpassed his own wildest dreams: the life and family he had been blessed to build with his beloved wife, Kay.

Today, I trust the entire Senate’s sympathies and prayers are with the woman who the Mountain from Oklahoma called his ‘rock’, and with the children and grandchildren of whom our friend was so proud. 

Other colleagues shared their condolences on social media.

Funeral services are pending.

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