Former Sen. Rod Grams dies at 65

Former Sen. Rod Grams (R-Minn.) died late Tuesday night, family friend and spokesman Kent Kaiser announced Wednesday morning.

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Grams, 65, was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2012 and entered hospice care last month after the cancer spread to other parts of his body and became terminal.

Grams spent eight years in Congress, two as a representative and six as a senator. In 2000, he lost a Senate reelection bid to Democrat Mark Dayton.

In a September interview following his move into hospice, Grams cited a $500 per-child tax credit that remains on the books today as his proudest legislative accomplishment.

Grams made a comeback attempt in 2006 by challenging Democrat Jim Oberstar in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District, but he was defeated.

Bracketing Grams’s political career was a lengthy broadcasting career. He spent nearly a decade as senior news anchor for a Minneapolis-St. Paul TV station before running for Congress, and after leaving office, he bought three radio stations in Little Falls, Minn., where he regularly co-hosted a program.

Grams took comfort in his Lutheran faith as his life came to a close.

“When I look back now at the hills I had to climb and didn’t know it, somebody carried me up those hills,” Grams said in September. “I’ve always said I’ve had just a blessed life.”

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