Former U.S. Senator Jean Carnahan dies at 90

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ST. LOUIS – Jean Carnahan, former U.S. Senator and Missouri first lady, died Tuesday evening after a brief illness, according to her obituary. She was 90.

Carnahan was appointed to the U.S. Senate seat her late husband, former Governor Mel Carnahan, had won in 2000. She was the first woman to represent Missouri in the Senate.

Throughout her two years in the Senate, Carnahan was the fifth woman to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee and was a member of the first Congressional delegation to Afghanistan following 9/11, along with several other accomplishments.

As Missouri’s first lady for eight years, she was an advocate for education, children, seniors and working families.

Carnahan was the author of seven books that focused on the historic governor’s mansion, her years as first lady and a senator, and her perspective on life as a senior.

Carnahan will be laid to rest next to her husband and son near Ellsinore, Mo.

“Mom passed peacefully after a long and rich life. She was a fearless trailblazer. She was brilliant, creative, compassionate and dedicated to her family and her fellow Missourians,” her family said in a statement.

A public celebration of Carnahan’s life will be planned in St. Louis, with further details to be released later.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are requested to the Carnahan Policy Institute, which sponsors the Mel Carnahan Public Service Award and Scholarship. These awards aid students and individuals who have helped the lives of Missourians through commitment to education, law, or public service.

Donations can be made here.


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