Former Senate Ag Chair Richard Lugar dies |

Former Senate Ag Chair Richard Lugar dies

Former Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., who chaired the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, died Sunday, the Lugar Center has announced.

Lugar, 87, who served as mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1975, as a senator from 1977 to 2013, and president of the Lugar Center since 2013, died of complications from a neurological disorder called chronic inflammatory demylinating polyneuropathy, the center said.

The Lugar Center was founded in 2013 as a nonprofit organization focusing on global food security, nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, aid effectiveness, and bipartisan governance.

Lugar was also a vigorous advocate of free trade in agriculture. He had recently been co-chairing Farmers for Free Trade, a group formed in opposition to the tariffs that President Donald Trump has imposed on other countries.

“Dick Lugar leaves behind an unmatched legacy of bipartisan achievement on everything from nuclear nonproliferation to food and agriculture policy,” said former Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., co-chair of Farmers for Free Trade.

“I was proud to call him a friend and partner in the Senate for over three decades and equally proud to partner with him after the Senate to work on behalf of America’s farmers, ranchers and rural families,” Baucus said.

“Working with Dick over the last few years on Farmers for Free Trade has been a gift that’s only reinforced his dedication to the people of Indiana and rural America.

“At a time when trade policies that keep many farmers afloat have come under fire, Dick stood up with me to ensure their voices are being heard. It was a typically brave stance from a man who has always been guided less by politics than by doing what was right for his constituents.”