Former U.S. Senator with Clinton ties dies

 April 21, 2024

David Pryor has died at the age of 89, the New York Times reports

For those unfamiliar with Pryor, he was a top Democratic politician for many years, and he was a close ally of former President Bill Clinton. There will be more on Pryor's background in a moment.

On Saturday, April 20, 2024, Pryor's family announced that he had died in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The family said that Pryor died of natural causes.

Who was David Pryor?

Pryor was a major American politician, both at the state level and at the federal level.

Pryor started off at the state level, serving in the Arkansas State House during the 1960s. He spent three terms there until, in 1966, he won a special election to become one of the state's representatives in the U.S. House.

Pryor lost his House seat in the early 1970s, and it was at this point that he returned to practicing law as an attorney. He did this for a bit before returning to state politics.

In the mid-1970s, Pryor became the governor of Arkansas, a position that he held for two terms. Then, in 1978, Pryor won a seat in the U.S. Senate. He ended up being reelected to the Senate two times before retiring from politics in 1996.

Pryor is reported to have been a huge inspiration for Bill Clinton's political career. Clinton, in a sense, returned the favor, in 2004, by making Pryor a member of the Clinton Foundation's board of directors. Pryor was also the dean of the Clinton School of Public Service between 2004 and 2006.

"Deeply saddened"

Bill Clinton has released a statement on Pryor's passing via his X account. The statement can be read in its entirety here.

"Hillary and I are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend David Pryor, one of Arkansas' greatest servant leaders and one of the finest people I have ever known," Clinton began.

Next, Clinton briefly touched upon Pryor's political career before turning his personal relationship with Pryor.

Clinton continued:

I first met him and Barbara in 1966 when David was running for Congress, and over the next 58 years he would be my mentor, confidant, supporter, and above all, friend. Having him and Dlae Bumpers in the senate when I was president was an extraordinary gift. I never felt far from home, and always trusted the unvarnished advice he gave, espeically when the going got tough. I'll also always be grateful that he served as the inaugural dean of the CLinton School of Public Service, where his very presence embodied the nobility and joy of public service.

Clinton concluded by saying that he "will miss David very much."

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