INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Longtime Indiana Senator Richard Lugar passed away early Sunday in Virginia after a short illness.
The former Indianapolis mayor was 87.
Reactions are pouring in from friends, colleagues and political opponents.
Former Indiana governor and current Purdue University President Mitch Daniels worked directly for Lugar for 14 years, first during his terms as mayor later in Congress, spending more than a decade of that as his chief of staff.
“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.”
- Mitch Daniels, Purdue President
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett released a statement Sunday, adding that, in the coming days, a moment of silence and community wreath laying ceremony will be held on the newly-renamed Richard G. Lugar Plaza in Indianapolis.
"Today, Indianapolis mourns the loss of a native Hoosier and American statesman who changed the face of our city and embodied the heart of our nation.
Senator Lugar's career is rightfully characterized by his time in the United States Senate and his outstanding leadership on matters of foreign security and international diplomacy. But he began his public life as a member of the Indianapolis Board of School Commissioners, before becoming a visionary mayor who embraced the transformative potential of local government. He understood that progress could only occur when good ideas and good people came together -- from all sides of the political landscape. And he demonstrated a commitment to country over party, community over self, that is almost unparalleled in today's polarized world.
It is my hope that Senator Lugar's legacy will live on within the highest echelons of public policy as well as the corridors of city-county government. We owe that to him.
Steph and I join the people of Indianapolis in expressing our deepest condolences to Charlene and the Lugar family during this difficult time."
- Joe Hogsett, Indianapolis Mayor
Governor Eric 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.”
- Eric Holcomb
The University of Indianapolis has a long-standing relationship with Lugar, who served a trustee for many years. UIndy President Robert L. Manuel commented Sunday on Lugar's passing:
"It is with a deep sense of sorrow that we acknowledge the passing of Senator Richard G. Lugar. Our entire University community mourns the loss of the Senator, and we extend our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
Like so many in our community, the University of Indianapolis had a long and meaningful relationship with Senator Lugar. He served as a member of our Board of Trustees from 1970 to 2002, and also shaped the youth of Indiana by personally mentoring more than 20,000 young Hoosier leaders over the past 42 years through the Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders at the University of Indianapolis.
We have benefited greatly by his presence on campus over the past 42 years and by his mayoral archives which reside within the University’s Institute for Civic Leadership. In many ways, these records will ensure that his leadership style, approach to public service and impact will be remembered.
Senator Lugar’s life example served as a model for our students. He was a constant reminder that all individual talents should accrue to the benefits of others, and he believed that civic engagement was a cornerstone of a meaningful life and the bedrock of a civil society.
Whether as faculty, board member, special lecturer or graduation speaker, he was a beacon to our community and will be missed.
We will long remember with gratitude Senator Lugar’s passionate advocacy for public service, his visionary leadership and work on behalf of regional, national and global initiatives, and his love for the people in the great state of Indiana."
- Robert L. Manuel, UIndy President
President Lugar's pastor at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis wrote:
“Senator Lugar and his family were founding members of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. He was not only an outstanding statesman of our country, a great thinker of our time, an ambassador of peace, but he was a great Christian man. We extend our sympathies to his family and give thanks for the loyalty and support Senator Lugar gave to St. Luke’s across our history.”
- Rob Fuquay, Senior Pastor
Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore Roderic Bray:
“Richard Lugar was a giant of Hoosier public service whose tremendous impact on our state and nation will be felt for many years to come. Sen. Lugar was a role model for so many of us because of his commitment to civility and bipartisanship, and his passing is truly a loss for our state and country as a whole. I join the Lugar family and all Hoosiers in mourning the loss of our beloved statesman.”
- Roderic Bray, Indiana Senate President Pro Tem
U.S. Senator Todd Young issued the following statement regarding the passing of Senator Richard Lugar:
“As a boss, a mentor, and a person, Richard Lugar was the gold standard. At a time when nuclear proliferation was civilization’s greatest threat, Senator Lugar helped save the world. He leaves a legacy as an exemplar of wisdom, civility, and bipartisanship. Always staying true to his temperament, he was a quiet, dignified statesman. He thought before he spoke. He emphasized substance over personality. In short, he set the bar for public leaders — and for leaders more generally. I’m not sure we will ever see another Richard Lugar, but I pray that we do. May God watch over him and his family.”
- Todd Young