Former Georgia Republican Senator Johnny Isakson died on Dec. 19 at the age of 76, the Isakson Initiative announced.
The cause of Isakson’s death has not been disclosed.
“Georgia has lost a giant, one of its greatest statesmen, and a servant leader dedicated to making his state and country better than he found it,” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said in a statement.
Isakson had a 45-year public service record, including serving nearly 15 years as a United States senator.
Isakson resigned from his Senate office in 2019 due to health concerns.
At the time of his resignation, Isakson had surgery on his kidney and was recovering from a fall at his Washington apartment that fractured four of his ribs.
Isakson also had suffered from Parkinson’s disease.
Isakson began his political career in 1976 when he became a member of the general assembly in Georgia.
Isakson chaired Georgia’s Board of Education and served in the U.S. House from 1994 to 2004 before becoming a senator.
During his time as senator, Isakson worked to expand programs offering more private healthcare choices for veterans, supported limited school vouchers, and had a key role in developing former President George Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms described Isakson as “a true statesman with a servant’s heart.”
“He was always attentive to the needs of our communities. While our state has lost a man of honor, he leaves an indelible example of servant leadership, we should all work to emulate,” Bottoms added.
U.S. President Joe Biden also paid tribute, saying, “Georgia has lost an indispensable son. America has lost an exemplary leader.”
Isakson is survived by his wife, three children, and nine grandchildren,
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