Former GOP senator Richard Lugar dies at 87

Former GOP senator Richard Lugar dies at 87
© Getty

Former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), a foreign policy expert who served in the upper chamber for more than 30 years, has died at the age of 87. 

The Lugar Center said in a statement that Lugar died early Sunday as a result of complications from chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, a rare neurological disorder.

ADVERTISEMENT

He is survived by his wife, Char, and his four sons, Mark, Bob, John and David. 

Lugar spent the majority of his life in public service, serving as mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1975 before serving in the Senate from 1977 to 2013. He originally ran for the Senate in 1974, losing to Indiana Sen. Birch Bayh (D). He ran again two years later and was elected to his first term.

Lugar long served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including twice as chairman of the panel.

Lugar failed to win the Republican nomination when he ran for reelection to a seventh term in the Senate in 2012, losing to state Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Mourdock was later defeated in the general election by former Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyConservatives spark threat of bloody GOP primaries Anti-corruption group hits Congress for ignoring K Street, Capitol Hill 'revolving door' K Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers MORE (D-Ind.).

Among Lugar's notable achievements in the Senate was working with former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) to establish the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, which led to the destruction and dismantling of thousands of weapons in the former Soviet Union.

– Michael Burke contributed to this report, which was updated at 12:45 p.m.