Thad Cochran, longtime US senator, dies at 81

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 14: U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) speaks at "Making AIDS History: A Roadmap for Ending the Epidemic" at the Hart Senate Building on June 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

Former Sen. Thad Cochran, who represented Mississippi in the US Senate for decades, died Thursday morning, his longtime spokesman said in a statement.

Cochran died in Oxford, Mississippi, said Chris Gallegos, who previously worked for the senator and now works for his successor, Cindy Hyde-Smith.

A cause of death was not immediately disclosed.

Cochran was serving in his seventh term in the US Senate and was first elected to Congress in 1972 before being elected to the Senate in 1978. He resigned his seat last April due to his health issues.

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