Remembering Wendell Fordby Senator Harry Reid
Posted on 2015-01-22
REID. Mr. President, today the United States Senate family lost
one of its Members. Early this morning, our friend and colleague,
Senator Wendell Ford, passed away at his home in Owensboro, KY.
Senator Wendell Ford's service to his State and country spanned seven decades. A veteran of World War II and longtime member of the Kentucky Army National Guard, Wendell Ford's first elected position was that of State senator. In 1967 he ran successfully for Lieutenant Governor. Four years later he was elected Governor.
Following his term as Governor, the people of Kentucky sent him to the U.S. Senate, where he enjoyed a distinguished 24-year career. He was my predecessor as Democratic whip, a position that he held from 1995 to 1999. When Senator Ford retired, he was the longest serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky history, a record that my friend, the majority leader, eclipsed in 2009.
Senator Wendell Ford loved Kentucky. His loyalty to his home State was never in question. During his time here in the Senate, he unabashedly and unapologetically fought for anything that would give Kentucky families a helping hand. Similarly, anyone or anything that threatened Kentucky and its people was met with Senator Ford's fierce opposition.
My thoughts today are with his family. I express my condolences to his wife of 71 years, Jean Neel, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Senator Wendell Ford will be greatly missed by his loved ones, the people of Kentucky and the United States of America.