ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Former Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson died overnight Sunday. He was 76.
Isakson represented Georgia’s 6th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1999-2005 then was a senator from 2005-2019.
During his third term as U.S. Senator, he was forced into retirement in December 2019 because of Parkinson’s disease.
“We are grateful for everyone’s prayers as we mourn the loss of our father,” Isakson’s oldest son, John Isakson said through a press release from Isakson’s team.
The release also said following his retirement from the U.S. Senate, Isakson dedicated his life to raising awareness and funding for research related to neurocognitive diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and related dementia through The Isakson Initiative.
A memorial service for Isakson will be held Thursday, Jan. 6 at 2 p.m. A
of the service will also be available. live stream
Several state leaders responded to Isakson’s passing.
Gov. Brian Kemp took to Twitter with a statement:
“Senator Isakson was a statesman who served Georgia with honor. He put his state and his country ahead of self and party, and his great legacy endures. Alisha and I will keep Dianne and the Isakson family in our prayers.”
“When I was a young man just getting started in politics, I wanted to be like Johnny Isakson,” said Carr.
“Johnny was the first person I voted for when I was 18 and was the first person I worked for in politics. Over time, he became a mentor and a close friend. I will never forget the time spent with him, whether in the halls of the Senate or the back roads of Georgia. And I will always be grateful for his wisdom and guidance, and how he taught us to live life as if there were only two kinds of people – friends and future friends.
“Johnny Isakson exemplified everything you would want in a public servant, and he will be remembered as one of the greatest Georgia ever had. I try to live up to his example every day.
“Joan’s and my heart go out to all of the Isaksons, who over the years became like family to us.”
“All of Georgia is grieving the loss of a political giant this morning. Senator Johnny Isakson represented the best of our state and our country. Senator Isakson was known for putting Georgia first and working across the aisle to get things done. I enjoyed spending time with Senator Isakson, including every year when he would come join Ebenezer Baptist Church for our annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And, I will always cherish the words of advice and encouragement he gave me after I was elected to be one of Georgia’s next United States Senators.
“His model of public service is an example to future generations of leaders on how to stand on principle and make progress while also governing with compassion and a heart for compromise. We’re all better for Senator Isakson’s many decades of service, and it is an honor to serve in the seat he once held. He was an upstanding elected official, and an even better man. I will miss him, and I send my deepest sympathies to his family and all of us across Georgia and the country who loved and admired him.”
“I join all Georgians today in mourning the loss of Senator Johnny Isakson, a true statesman who loved Georgia and represented our state with integrity and honor. Senator Isakson embodied the best of public service, and his commitment to respect, cooperation, and bipartisanship leaves a long-lasting legacy in Georgia and nationwide. He will be sorely missed.”
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