NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WKRN) — Bill Brock, a former Tennessee senator and Republican chairman who rebuilt the party after the Watergate scandal, has died at age 90.
Family friend Tom Griscom says Brock died on Thursday morning. Brock was an official with his family’s Brock Candy Co. before he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1962. In 1970, he was elected to the Senate.
After failing in his bid for a second term, he became GOP national chairman. His work to improve fundraising and broaden membership helped Ronald Reagan beat President Jimmy Carter in 1980.
Brock then served in the Reagan administration as U.S. trade representative and then labor secretary.
Senator Bill Hagerty released the following statement on Brock’s passing:
“Chrissy and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Bill Brock, someone who represented the people of Tennessee in the U.S. House and Senate for more than a decade before going on to serve in the Reagan Administration as Trade Representative and Labor Secretary. A navy veteran, Bill was a Tennessean first and foremost who had a deep love for Chattanooga where he was born. Tennessee has a rich history of sending transformative leaders to represent them in Washington—many of whom went on to serve in congressional leadership, a cabinet post, or in higher office—and Bill is certainly a part of that amazing legacy. Bill loved his country, and fought for her during his entire career in public service. My family and I extend our thoughts and prayers to Bill’s loved ones, and ask that God bring them comfort and peace during this difficult time.”
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