Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags across the state to be flown at half-staff to honor former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, who passed away early Sunday, April 28, 2019. Flags will remain at half-staff until sunset on the day of his funeral, which has not yet been announced.
Gov. Holcomb also asks businesses and residents to lower their flags to half-staff as well to honor former U.S. Sen. Lugar.
After a short illness in the hospital, Senator Richard G. Lugar, 87, who served as mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1975, a U.S. Senator from 1977 to 2013, and president of the Lugar Center since 2013, died peacefully on Sunday April 28 at 1:44 a.m. at the Inova Fairfax Heart and Vascular Institute in Virginia. Lugar’s family remained with him the entire time. The cause of death was complications from CIDP (chronic inflammatory demylinating polyneuropathy).
Governor Eric J. Holcomb offered the following after the passing of former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar.
“The world weeps alongside Indiana after just learning we lost one of our best, ever.
“As an always faithful servant to the highest ideals in every walk of his incredible life, Richard Lugar ran the family farm, charted a new innovative course for Indiana’s capital city, and devoted a record six terms as a U.S. Senator to making the world a more prosperous and peaceful place.
“He was an officer and gentleman, father and faith leader, a Mayor and Senator, a diplomat and legendary role model to millions.
“Janet and I are keeping Mrs. Lugar and their wonderful family in our prayers and ask all those touched by his service to join us.”
Former United States Senator Richard G. Lugar was the president of The Lugar Center, a non-profit organization focusing on global food security, WMD nonproliferation, aid effectiveness, and bipartisan governance. Senator Lugar served as a Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar at the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University. He also served as a distinguished faculty member in the Department of History and Political Science and led the Richard G. Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders at the University of Indianapolis.
A fifth generation Hoosier who left the United States Senate as the longest serving member of Congress in Indiana history, Senator Lugar was recognized as a gifted local and state leader, as well as a respected national and international statesman. During his tenure in the United States Senate, he exercised leadership on critical issues such as food security, nuclear non-proliferation, energy independence, and free trade. He received 46 honorary degrees from colleges and universities in 15 states and the District of Columbia, and he was the fourth person ever named Outstanding Legislator by the American Political Science Association. He was the 2005 recipient of the American Foreign Service Association Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy Award and the 2016 recipient of the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding. Her Majesty The Queen of England bestowed upon Senator Lugar the rank of honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in honor of his work to make the world more secure from weapons of mass destruction and his commitment to the U.S.-U.K. alliance. President Barack Obama named Senator Lugar a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Senator Lugar graduated first in his class at both Shortridge High School in Indianapolis and Denison University in Granville, Ohio. He attended Pembroke College at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, studying politics, philosophy and economics. Lugar volunteered for the U.S. Navy in 1957, ultimately serving as an intelligence briefer for Admiral Arleigh Burke, chief of Naval Operations.
Purdue President Mitch Daniels worked directly for Richard Lugar for 14 years, first during his mayoralty and then as Senator, more than a decade of that as his chief of staff. Daniels on the passing of Senator Richard Lugar made the following statement:
“Words are hard to come by right now. Dick Lugar was not just the finest public servant I will ever know, he was the finest person. He embodied all we can hope for in our leaders: brilliance of mind, purity of motive, stainless in character, tireless in the pursuit of duty. Incomparably knowledgeable about the world, he was first and always a patriot, utterly dedicated to the security and wellbeing of his fellow Americans. His voice is now silent, but he is still with us. Indianapolis is a thriving and vibrant city because of him. The world is safer from nuclear danger because of him. And so many of us, while falling far short of the standards he set, are vastly better people because of him.”
Lugar leaves to mourn his loving wife Char, his four sons Mark, Bob, John, and David and their families. They were with him throughout his short illness in the hospital. The Lugar family expresses their deepest thanks to Dr. Megan Terek and her staff for the exceptional and compassionate care that they provided to him.