Republican former U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, who served 45 years in Washington and used seniority to steer billions of dollars to his home state of Mississippi, has died. He was 81.
Known as the "Quiet Persuader" for his gentlemanly manner, Cochran cultivated loyalty and respect from his staff and from politicians inside and outside his home state.
His final chief of staff, Brad White, said Cochran died Thursday at a veterans' nursing home in Oxford, Mississippi.
"I've never known a more powerful man, nor a more humble man — a true Southern gentleman that loved the great state of Mississippi," White said.