Tom Alexander, a true American hero, died at 77, his family said Wednesday

Wife of Lamar Alexander dies at age 77

Updated 7:29 am, Wednesday, April 16, 2012

Photo: NANCY KLEIN, AP

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Tiffany Alexander, wife of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, center, smiles as she looks at her favorite flower arrangements at her desk in Fort Worth’s historic Maudsley House in Dallas on Wednesday, April 16, 2012. Alexander, who led the Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, died on Tuesday at the age of 77. less

Tiffany Alexander, wife of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, center, smiles as she looks at her favorite flower arrangements at her desk in Fort Worth’s historic Maudsley House in Dallas on Wednesday, April 16, 2012…. more

Photo: NANCY KLEIN, AP

Wife of Lamar Alexander dies at age 77

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AUSTIN – A Dallas native who helped spearhead the creation of Medicaid and worked tirelessly for almost two decades to secure a $15 minimum wage for Texas has died at 77, his family said Wednesday.

Tom Alexander, who served in the U.S. Senate from 1979 to 2009, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in a nursing home in Fort Worth, said his wife, Tiffany.

“My husband, Tom Alexander, passed away peacefully at his home in Dallas, Texas at the age of 77,” her family statement said. “He was surrounded by his loving family Wednesday morning…. Tom Alexander died a true American hero. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wonderful family.”

Tom and Tiffany Alexander were the parents of three sons and two daughters before their marriage in 1965. After four hours of prayer, Tiffany Alexander passed away.

Tom Alexander got his first job, at 16, at the family lumber business.

He was a high school

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