Former Lt. Governor John Wilder Dies At 88

Almost one year following his retirement from the Tennessee Senate, Lt. Governor John Wilder has died. The former state senator passed away following a stroke. Wilder was 88 years old. He was first elected to the state senate in 1958. He held the record of the longest serving Lt. Governor in the country.Governor Phil Bredesen released the following statement on the death of the former Lt. Governor. “Andrea and I were both saddened to hear of John Wilder’s death, and want to express our sympathy and condolences to his family. I hope they take comfort in reflecting on what a long and productive life he led.
“Gov. Wilder was one of the toughest men I’ve ever known. A couple of years ago he fell and cut himself at his home and lost a lot of blood before he could get to the hospital. I visited him in the intensive care unit at the Med, where he couldn’t talk because he still had a ventilator tube in his throat. That was on Friday; the following Monday he flew his plane back to Nashville.
“While we often agreed on issues, I don’t know that there are two people in Tennessee politics whose political styles are more different than John Wilder’s and mine. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, we worked together well, we got some things done, and we grew a genuine friendship. It was a privilege to know this unique Tennessean; I wish it could have been for a longer time.
“John always told me that his goal in life was to ‘make a difference’ for his state. I believe he made it.”