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Former TN Sen. Bill Brock dies at age 90

Brock, from Chattanooga, had been a U.S. House and Senate member as well as Labor Department secretary.
Republican presidential hopeful Ronald Reagan, left smiles with Bill Brock, right, Republican National Chairman during a news conference in Los Angeles Friday, July 13, 1980. Brock agreed to stay on as chairman after recent controversies. (AP Photo)

Former Tennessee Sen. Bill Brock died Thursday at age 90.

The longtime Republican had been in declining health. According to Associated Press, family friend Tom Griscom confirmed his death.

The Tennessee Republican Party issued a statement mourning his passing.

"The Tennessee Republican Party had the opportunity to honor Senator Brock with our highest award, The Howard Baker Award, at the 2019 Statesman's Dinner for his years of dedication and commitment to our State and Party. Our prayers go out to his wife, Sandy, and the entire Brock family, especially our colleague Oscar, who is currently serving the Tennessee Republican Party as our Committeeman for the RNC," the statement Thursday reads.

Brock was from Chattanooga.

He served four terms as a U.S. House member and one term as a U.S. senator from the Volunteer State. 

State and national leaders offered prayers and condolences when the news was released.

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) released a statement following news of his death.

"Bill Brock was a dedicated public servant and patriot who will be dearly missed by many. He lived a life of service to Tennesseans and Americans, from serving in our military to representing the United States as our Trade Representative and Labor Secretary. It was a privilege to consider him a friend of mine. I am sending my heartfelt condolences to his wife, Sandy. I am asking Tennesseans to join me in keeping his family and friends in our prayers.”

Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) also released a statement offering his condolences.

“Chrissy and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Bill Brock, someone who represented the people of Tennessee in the U.S. House and Senate for more than a decade before going on to serve in the Reagan Administration as Trade Representative and Labor Secretary. A navy veteran, Bill was a Tennessean first and foremost who had a deep love for Chattanooga where he was born. Tennessee has a rich history of sending transformative leaders to represent them in Washington—many of whom went on to serve in congressional leadership, a cabinet post, or in higher office—and Bill is certainly a part of that amazing legacy. Bill loved his country, and fought for her during his entire career in public service. My family and I extend our thoughts and prayers to Bill’s loved ones, and ask that God bring them comfort and peace during this difficult time.”

U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.) offered his condolences.

“I am incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Senator Bill Brock. Senator Brock was an institution in East Tennessee. Throughout his career of public service, he always put the people of East Tennessee first – he leaves behind a legacy of immeasurable leadership and service to our nation. Senator Brock will be dearly missed. Brenda and I send our most heartfelt condolences and prayers to the Brock family during this time of grief.”

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