The former Senator from Oklahoma has died. But not from the Wuhan Virus.
Former Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn has died at the age of 72.
Coburn, a physician by trade, served in the United States Senate from 2005 to 2015. Before leaving the Senate, Coburn announced a year earlier in 2014 that he would resign from the Senate due to a “serious recurrence” of cancer.
Coburn had many ongoing battles with cancer. Back in 2011, a spokesman for Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) confirmed that the lawmaker has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, NewsOk.com.
“Dr. Coburn has had a recurrence of prostate cancer and will be undergoing further evaluation and treatment,” Coburn communications director John Hart said in a statement.
He was treated for prostate cancer in 2011, but had previous bouts with two other types of cancer: a malignant melanoma in 1975 and colon cancer in 2003.
With this history of cancer, one can only imagine what he faced year after year. The struggles. And Coburn had his family by his side the entire way.
Prior to his serving in the Senate, Coburn served in the House of Representatives, elected in 1994 during the ‘Republican Revolution’ led by Newt Gingrich. Coburn did what few politicians do, and term-limited himself to only three terms; a promise he made when running for office. He declined running for re-election in 2000.
Needless to say, Coburn did the same in the Senate. As soon as he discovered his cancer, he left the Senate. When you consider all the politicos who die in office, too vain to leave, what Coburn did speaks volumes of his character.
He commented upon leaving the Senate:
“This decision isn’t about my health, my prognosis or even my hopes and desires. As a citizen, I am now convinced that I can best serve my own children and grandchildren by shifting my focus elsewhere.”
Coburn knew what is important. While representing the citizens of this country is important, there is a time to step aside. I think of Coburn spending his last years with family and friends, making peace with the inevitable. I doubt he looked back at what he could have accomplished as a Senator, but rather looked forward to the precious time he had left.
McCain, Kennedy, and others chose to die in the Senate. Almost all these senators felt a false sense of bravado. They felt America couldn’t do without them.
The truth is we didn’t need them at their prime, nor did we need them at their deaths.
RIP Tom Coburn. You served America and your family like a champion. And you went out a champion.