Alabama state senator Roger Bedford dies

 October 13, 2023

Longtime Alabama state senator Roger Bedford has died at the age of 67. 

A Democrat, Bedford died at home in Tuscaloosa following a battle with cancer, 1819 News reported. 

Alabama state senator dies

Bedford took pride in steering tax dollars to his constituents in northwestern Alabama's Sixth District.

He was known for his positive outlook and resiliency, having battled cancer previously. His friend Susan Wheeler said he was diagnosed with cancer again in late September.

“I’ve never heard him say a negative thing about anybody,” Wheeler said. “He was positive and hard-working. As Senator (Hank) Sanders said, it’s hard work being Roger Bedford, but he just makes it look so easy because Bedford was just a working machine.”

“That’s why it seems impossible that he’s passed because he’s overcome so much,” Wheeler added.

Ran for Senate

A practicing lawyer, Bedford was just 25 years old when he was elected in 1982. He was still a young man when he had his first cancer battle, which forced him to leave office in 1990 before returning four years later.

In 1990, Bedford ran unsuccessfully for attorney general of the state. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 1996 to replace Howell Heflin, but lost to then-Alabama Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who went on to serve in the Trump administration 20 years later.

Bedford stayed in office after Republicans gained a supermajority in 2010, but lost re-election in 2014 to Republican Larry Stutts by 67 votes.

Tuscaloosa mayor Walt Maddox paid tribute to Bedford in a post.

Family man

Bedford graduated from University of Alabama and studied law at Cumberland Law School of Birmingham's Samford University. He was an Alabama spokesman for Ohio senator and astronaut John Glenn during his 1984 presidential campaign.

He was a fan of Alabama football and the pastor Joel Osteen. His brother-in-law Richard Todd was a quarterback for the New York Jets.

Bedford was also an outdoorsman and a proud father and husband, according to his Twitter profile. His wife Maudie predeceased him, and he is survived by his son Roger Bedford III.

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