Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan dies at age 69 following cancer diagnosis

AURORA, Colo. – Mayor Steve Hogan died Sunday morning at age 69 following a cancer diagnosis, the city announced.

Hogan served as mayor of Aurora since 2011 and on the city council for 24 years before that.

He announced last week he was entering home hospice care after being diagnosed with cancer, saying he’d live his future days “with dignity, grace, and in peace.” He'd announced in March he wasn't seeking re-election following the diagnosis.

Hogan’s family asks that people donate to the Mayor Stephen D. Hogan Memorial Fund in lieu of flowers. A donation link will be made available early this week, the city said.

Those donations will be distributed to the University of Denver Stephen D. Hogan Scholarship Fund, the 7/20 Memorial Fund, the Aurora Korean Memorial Fund and the Aurora History Museum – all causes that were important to Hogan, the city said.

Details about services for Hogan will be forthcoming, the city added.

Hogan was mayor during the Aurora theater shooting, and worked with state and federal officials in its wake. Several people issued statements remembering him Sunday after the news of his passing.

“Steve Hogan was my other half after the theater shooting in 2013 [sic], a rock of Gibraltar,” Gov. John Hickenlooper tweeted. “So sad.”

Hickenlooper ordered flags be flown at half-staff in Hogan's honor and issued a longer statement Sunday afternoon.

"Today Colorado lost a true friend in Mayor Steve Hogan," Hickenlooper said. "This was a man who went above and beyond to do right by the city he loved. He led the way to make Aurora the bustling, dynamic city it is today, and Colorado is better for it. He was that rare public servant who put people before party – my God, how we will miss him."

Rep. Mike Coffman, a five-term Republican Congressman from Aurora, issued a statement about Hogan’s death:

“Today, our city mourns the passing of our Mayor and my friend, Steve Hogan,” Coffman said in a tweet. “Having known him for over 30 years, his dedication and passion to better our city was unwavering and he will certainly be missed. My condolences are with his family and @AuroraGov staff at this time.”

Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz also tweeted condolences:

“The women & men of @AuroraPD thanks Mayor Steve Hogan for his many years of service to the Aurora community. A strong voice & ardent supporter of public safety. We thank his family for the many years of sharing him with us. Aurora is a great place because of his leadership. RIP.”

Aurora Fire Chief Fernando Gray posted remembrances on Facebook:

“The AFR family is crushed to learn of the passing of our beloved Mayor, Steve Hogan. Mayor Hogan spent the majority of his life in public service and his commitment is an example to us all. The City of Aurora is better due to his leadership and his legacy will stand the test of time.

Our prayers and thoughts are with his family as they manage this horrible loss.”

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock issued a thread of tweets about Hogan’s passing:

“It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to a truly great individual, Mayor Steve Hogan. Mary Louise and I, and all of Denver, want to extend our love and support to Becky and the Hogan family, and send our deepest condolences for their loss – a loss to all of Colorado,” Hancock tweeted.

“Steve Hogan was a good man and a great friend. He also defined public service and consistently worked to serve his community. He has left an indelible impact on the future of Aurora, our region and our entire state, and he will be greatly missed by so many.”

"Sad news," tweeted Americans for Prosperity senior director of issue education Michael Fields tweeted. "Aurora is much better off because of his years of public service."

When Hogan announced last week he was entering home hospice care, he sent a heartfelt letter to Aurora residents:

"Dear Friends:

To tell you the truth, I have never been much of a believer in term limits. I wanted you to know that my time as Mayor of Aurora will end sooner than I had desired,” Hogan said in a statement to Denver7. “I have entered into home hospice care, with the understanding that my future days will be lived with dignity, grace, and in peace.

Please know that my cause of life is public service. It has been my distinct honor to serve as a Colorado State Representative, an Aurora City Councilmember, and as Mayor of the city of Aurora. Having served 34 years in elected office, the time has passed far too quickly. I am most proud that each day I gave my best efforts and heart for the betterment of this great city, region and state. I would respectfully encourage each person reading this message to embrace the honor of public service and continually seek to enrich the lives of our fellow residents. It is in this honor and in this service where leadership and inclusive governance will flourish.

Aurora is my heart. I am so proud of this city, my city. We have grown together and we have grieved together. As a city, we are persistent and we shall continue to prosper together. The people of Aurora define this city. A heartfelt thanks to the residents of Aurora, my former and current colleagues, and to all the city employees; what an honor it has been to serve with each of you! Thank you for allowing me to be part of your lives.”

This is a developing news story and will be updated.

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