Heard on the Hill

Thad Cochran: A life in photos

Photos of the late Mississippi senator from the CQ Roll Call archives

Portrait of Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., from 1985. A year earlier, he easily won a high-profile race for re-election over former Democratic Gov. William F. Winter. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran died Thursday at the age of 81. The mannerly former chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee — where he was a dependable provider for his home state — spent more than four decades in Congress.

Cochran retired from the Senate in April 2018 after dealing with health issues. The longtime Republican lawmaker began his congressional career in the House, winning election to Mississippi’s old 4th District in 1972. After three terms, he ran and won a race for Senate in 1978, becoming the first Republican to win statewide office in the Magnolia State since Reconstruction. 

[Thad Cochran, former Senate Appropriations chairman, has died at age 81]

Here are a few photos from the late senator’s years in Washington, as captured by CQ Roll Call’s photographers. 

George Bush, points to press, Senator Thad Cochran holding boxing gloves he gave to President in Senator Bob Dole's office earlier referring to the slogan -- "Beat Democratic Congress." August 5, 1992 (Photo by Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call)
Cochran holds boxing gloves he gave to President George H.W. Bush during a meeting in Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole’s office in August 1992. The gloves read “Beat Democratic Congress.” (Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kans., Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Tex., Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., at Dole's office for lunch with Senators in February 1995. (Photo by Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call)
From left, Dole, Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond, Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Cochran pose for a photo in Dole’s office in February 1995. (Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Trent Lott and Thad Cochran talk about storm damage in Mississippi as they wait for Curt Weldon. Weldon from Pennsylvania was presenting them with a check for $100,000 dollars from an animus donor from his state to help with storm damage in their state. Later in the day Weldon was going to present them with another check for 50,000 dollars. photo by Douglas Graham
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Cochran talk about storm damage in Mississippi from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)
03/16/06.COCHRAN PORTRAIT UNVEILING--Former Agriculture Chairman (2003-04) Thad Cochran, R-Miss., unveils a portrait of himself during a reception in the Russell Senate Office Building. Cochran is currently chairman of Senate Appropriations. The portrait, to hang in the Senate Agriculture Committee room, was painted by Marshall Bouldin, of Clarksdale, Miss., who has more portraits hanging in the U.S. Capitol than any living artist. CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY PHOTO BY SCOTT J. FERRELL
Cochran, then the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, unveils a portrait of himself during a reception in the Russell Senate Office Building in March 2006. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call) 
Thad Cochran, R-MS., and Richard Lugar, R-IN., head to the luncheons in the U.S. Capitol through the Senate subway on December 22, 2009.
Cochran and Indiana Sen. Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind., head to the Senate Republicans’ weekly lunch in the Capitol in December 2009. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)
UNITED STATES - JULY 13: Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., speaks to reporters in the Ohio Clock Corridor of the US Capitol following the Senate Republicans' lunch on Tuesday, July 13, 2010. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call via Getty Images)
Cochran speaks to reporters in the Ohio Clock Corridor of the Capitol in July 2010. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 23: Senators wearing seersucker suits pose for a group photo in the Senate Reception Room in the Capitol on Thursday, June 23, 2011. From left are Senators Thad Cochran, Susan Collins, Mike Lee, Kay Hagan, Amy Klobuchar, Mitch McConnell, Kirsten Gillibrand, Mark Kirk, Lisa Murkowski, and Roger Wicker. The third thursday of June is traditionally called Seersucker Thursday. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)
Senators wearing seersucker suits pose for a group photo in the Senate Reception Room in the Capitol in June 2011 — the third Thursday of June is traditionally called Seersucker Thursday. From left, Cochran, Susan Collins of Maine, Mike Lee of Utah, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Roger Wicker of Mississippi. (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)
UNITED STATES - MAY 30: Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., greets Claire Webby, 7, as her sister Grace, 9, and mother Laurie look on, upon arriving at City Hall in Olive Branch, Miss., May 30, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Cochran greets Claire Webby, 7, as her sister Grace, 9, and mother Laurie look on, as he campaigns in Olive Branch, Miss., on May 30, 2014. Cochran went on to survive a tough GOP primary on his way to winning a seventh Senate term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

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