June 8, 2007
June 8, 2007 - Wyoming Senator Craig Thomas died Monday night at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where he had been receiving chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia. The three-term Senate republican was 74.
On Tuesday morning, the Senate delayed votes to pay tribute to the late Thomas.
"Thomas was a true friend of the nation's sheep industry," said Peter Orwick, executive director of the American Sheep Industry Association. "Essentially every legislative initiative and vote in the U.S. Senate of importance to sheep producers over the last 10 years involved the leadership of Sen. Thomas."
Thomas spearheaded and supported legislation that impacted the sheep industry including the Livestock Risk Protection-Lamb pilot program; the fine-wool fabric battle of the late 1990s and later the authorization of the American Wool Trust; the 201 lamb import trade action of 1999; and the last two Farm Bills.
"Sheep producers looked forward to visiting with Sen. Thomas at the American lamb barbecue each year," added Orwick. "His recognition in sheep country is wide as was evidenced by calls to our office this week from producers in many states, both east and west."
Thomas entered Congress in a special election in 1989 to replace Dick Cheney when the future vice president was named defense secretary by the first President Bush.
Thomas was born in Cody, Wyo., and raised on a ranch. He graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in agriculture, and then served four years in the Marines.
He is survived by his wife, Susan, and four children.