Former Lt. Governor Joe Rogers dies unexpectedly
He was country's youngest lieutenant governor
Last Updated: 58 days ago
DENVER - Former Lt. Gov. Joseph B. Rogers was 49 when he died unexpectedly Monday at Rose Medical Center in Denver.
"We are saddened to hear of the passing of former Lieutenant Governor Joe Rogers. We are grateful for his service to our state and to the Republican Party, and our hearts and prayers go out to his family and to all who have been inspired by this good man," the Colorado GOP said in a statement Tuesday.
Rogers was the youngest American and fourth African-American elected as a state lieutenant governor.
Rogers was 35 when he was sworn in as Colorado's lieutenant governor with Gov. Bill Owens in 1999. The New York Times called him a "young, articulate, energetic and well-prepared newcomer." Ebony magazine called him a "political trailblazer," and in 2000, he was a principal speaker at the GOP National Convention.
He was the second black politician (after George L. Brown) to hold that position in Colorado, serving through 2002, according to the Denver Post.
A public viewing of Roger's remains will be conducted from Noon to 5 p.m. on Oct. 15. Afterward, his remains will be moved to the Rising Star Baptist Church in Aurora where another public viewing will be held between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The public funeral will be held at 11 a.m. the next day.
Born in Omaha, Neb., Rogers grew up in Commerce City, part of a family that spent eight years on welfare. He was on the tennis team at Adams City High School, where he discovered the power of public speaking.
During a pep rally for the school football team, Rogers grabbed the microphone and told the assembled students that they should care about teams other than the football and basketball teams. He received a round of applause that changed his life.
He is survived by his mother, his wife, and three children. Services are pending at Pipkin Braswell.
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