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Cole Mourns Passing of Sam Johnson

May 28, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) mourned the passing of former Congressman Sam Johnson.

“I am incredibly saddened to note the passing of Sam Johnson, who was an American hero in every sense of the word,” said Cole. “Indeed, Sam was a true gentleman, but he was also a fierce warrior and defender of the United States of America. There is even an award named after him, recognizing the exemplary career and significant contributions he made before ever arriving in Congress.

“While most Americans know that Sam Johnson spent more than seven years as a prisoner of war at Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam War, many might not know how deeply he was admired by those who were in captivity with him. Every American should read Sam’s personal account as told in Captive Warriors: A Vietnam POW's Story.

“I first met Sam in 1991 when he ran for office in a special election and while I was Executive Director of the National Republican Congressional Committee. I continued to interact with him on a regular basis after that and then later joined him in the House when I was elected several years later. While in the House together, we both served on the Smithsonian Board of Regents, an appointment I was honored to receive from Speaker John Boehner because of Sam’s recommendation. I will always treasure the time serving together in that unique capacity.

“It was an honor and privilege to serve with a hero and patriot like Sam Johnson. Indeed, he was a great American and a credit to the U.S. House of Representatives. He will be sorely missed.”