Former U.S. Sen. Marlow Cook dies at 89

02/04/2016 12:37 PM

UPDATED — Marlow Cook, who served in the U.S. Senate from 1968 to 1974, has passed away at the age of 89 according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

The Louisville moderate Republican served as a mentor to both U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth. Cook served two terms in the Kentucky state House of Representatives from 1957 to 1961 before being elected Jefferson County Judge-Executive in 1961 and re-elected in 1965.

After leaving the U.S. Senate in 1974, after losing the seat to then Gov. Wendell Ford, he started a successful law practice in Washington, D.C.

Cook later retired to Sarasota, Florida where he reminisced with Pure Politics in 2012 about his disappointment with the shift in the GOP.

Yarmuth also served as a legislative aid for Cook during his tenure in the U.S. Senate. The Louisville Democrat issued a lengthy statement on the passing of his mentor.

“Marlow Cook may forever be remembered by Louisvillians as the Jefferson County Executive who purchased the Belle of Louisville, but I remember him not only as my first boss, but also as someone who directly and significantly shaped my life and the lives of so many in public life,” Yarmuth said in a statement.

“When I was a member of his U.S. Senate staff, he taught me the importance of hiring talented staff and relying heavily on them,” Yarmuth said. “More importantly, his staff became part of his family, and he treated me as another son until the end of his life.”

Yarmuth said that as a Republican seeking re-election in 1974, Cook “courageously suggested the resignation of Republican President Richard Nixon over the Watergate affair, becoming just the second member of Congress to do so.”

“He challenged the Nixon administration when he thought it was justified and supported it when he felt it was deserved, but he steadfastly and resolutely defended the interests of Kentucky regardless of partisan considerations,” Yarmuth went on in the release.

“I will always cherish my relationship with Marlow Cook, and will be forever grateful for his guidance, his friendship, and his love,” Yarmuth said.

On the floor of the U.S. Senate Thursday afternoon, McConnell also shared fond memories of Cook.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or


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