Sen. Richard G. Lugar represented Indiana in the US Senate from 1977 to 2013, leaving office as the longest-serving member of Congress in Indiana history. In addition to his service as a unifying and innovative local leader as two-time mayor of Indianapolis (1968-75), Lugar was the leading foreign policy voice in the Senate for decades.
In 1991, he forged a bipartisan partnership with then-Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sam Nunn to address the enormous post-Cold War risk from proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union. The Nunn-Lugar program has safeguarded and deactivated thousands of nuclear warheads and millions of chemical weapons.
Lugar also led a successful fight to overturn a presidential veto and impose sanctions against the apartheid regime in South Africa. As the leader of the American observer group to the Philippine elections in 1986, he helped ensure the peaceful departure of dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the installation of Corazon Aquino as the country's elected president.
In the 1990s, he was a major voice for the expansion of NATO into the former Warsaw Pact countries. And he was the Senate driver behind ratification of numerous arms control treaties, including the START Treaty, the INF Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the New START Treaty. He also led efforts to rebuild the State Department after the 1990s budget cuts and to bolster American foreign assistance and food security programs. After retiring from the Senate, he founded The Lugar Center, an organization committed to thoughtful analysis and civil dialogue that facilitates bipartisan governance.
Senator Lugar passed away Sunday, April 28, 2019, at age 87.