Former US Senator Kay Hagan dies at age 66

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Yesterday, former United States Senator Kay Hagan died, according to a statement released by her family. Hagan, North Carolina's first female Democratic Senator, was 66.

Hagan in 2009
Image: US Senate.

Hagan, first elected to Congress in 2008, was born on May 26, 1953 in Shelby, North Carolina. She received her undergraduate degree in 1975 from Florida State University, and then graduated from Wake Forest University in 1978 with a law degree.

In 1998, following ten years working for NationsBank, Hagan successfully ran for a seat in North Carolina's state Senate. A decade later, in 2008, Hagan defeated incumbent Republican US Senator Elizabeth Dole to become the first female Democratic US Senator from North Carolina. She served for one term before losing reelection to Thom Tillis, a Republican, in 2014.

According to Sadie Weiner, Hagan's former spokeswoman, Hagan died from Powassan virus, a flavivirus, leading to encephalitis (brain inflammation).