Former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams dies at 65

Publish date:
Updated on

Former TV newsman and U.S. Sen. Rod Grams died late Tuesday night at 65, media outlets are reporting Wednesday morning.

Family spokesman Kent Kaiser also confirmed the news:

It was reported last month that Grams was in hospice care at his home in eastern Minnesota. He was diagnosed with cancer in April 2012.

The Star Tribune reports that Grams had battled cancer and been through several courses of chemotherapy, Kaiser said. But Grams halted the treatments when they were unable to stop the spread of the disease, Kaiser told the newspaper.

Grams had stage 4 colon cancer that metastasized and spread to other parts of his body, WCCO reported.

“I can’t thank God enough for the opportunities that I have had,” Grams told WCCO by telephone in September. “It’s been a battle for a couple of years.”

The Republican politician, a Princeton, Minn., native, served single terms in both the U.S. House and Senate after working for a several years as a television news anchor for KMSP-TV.

"I think the greatest thing that I can do for people in Minnesota or across the country, is to continue to give them the opportunity to fulfill the dreams that they have for themselves and for their families," Grams said when he ran for the Senate, MPR reported.

He lost his Senate re-election bid in 2000 to Mark Dayton, who is now governor. Dayton recently reached out to his former political foe.

Grams was politically active even in his final weeks, MinnPost reported.

Grams and his wife own three radio stations, KLTF-AM, KFML-FM and WYRQ-FM, in Little Falls. In a June interview with Roll Call, a Capitol Hill publication, he talked about a talk radio segment he hosted on Little Falls Radio, a station he owned.

“It’s just a lot of fun. I kind of rant and rave a little bit now and then,” he said in the interview. “Being a conservative Republican, I’ve got a slant to my perspective.”

Grams grew up on a dairy farm and went to Carroll College in Helena, Mont., MPR reported.

Politicians and friends offered their condolences on Twitter.

Next Up