Former Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist has passed away at the age of 87, according to an official announcement from current Governor Bill Lee’s (R) office. The former governor succumbed following a surgical procedure and subsequent brief illness, surrounded by his loved ones.
Following his naval service, Sundquist made a mark in the printing and advertising sectors in Shelbyville and Memphis. Sundquist’s political journey began with his election to the U.S. Congress, representing Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District. During his six terms in Congress, particularly during his tenure on the Ways and Means Committee, Sundquist was hailed for his fiscal conservatism.
In 1994, Tennesseans entrusted him with the gubernatorial seat, an honor they reaffirmed with an overwhelming re-election in 1998. Sundquist’s legacy as governor is indelible. Not only did he pioneer welfare reform in the state, but he also introduced critical legislation focusing on the rights of crime victims and spurred economic development to record heights.
Additionally, under his administration, Tennessee welcomed two major national sports teams: the Tennessee Titans and the Nashville Predators.
Governor Sundquist was an impactful leader and principled statesman who devoted his life to public service. https://t.co/LE247GGRUa
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) August 27, 2023
Former First Lady Martha Sundquist expressed her family’s gratitude for the outpouring of love and prayers, noting, “We are comforted by our faith and friends, and know he is with our Lord and loved ones in heaven.”
Current Governor Bill Lee lauded Sundquist for his service, stating, “Governor Sundquist was an impactful leader and principled statesman who devoted his life to public service. As Tennessee’s governor for two terms, he contributed to our state’s legacy of fiscal responsibility and expanded opportunity for Tennesseans through historic economic development.”