Richard Lugar Is Remembered as a ‘True American Statesman’

Mr. Lugar built a résumé that seemed preordained for politics. An Eagle Scout, he was the co-president of his class at Denison University in Ohio (his soon-to-be wife, Charlene, was the other president), then became a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. While in Britain, he enlisted in the Navy and after returning to the United States, he was responsible for briefing Adm. Arleigh Burke, then the chief of naval operations.

He returned to Indiana and became a member of the school board, then was elected mayor of Indianapolis. He lost his first race for the Senate against a popular incumbent, Birch Bayh, who died in March. But two years later, in 1976, Mr. Lugar defeated another incumbent, Vance Hartke, and went on to serve 36 years in the Senate.

Mr. Lugar’s devotion to international affairs created some distance with Republican voters in Indiana just as the Tea Party wing was ascendant.

His primary opponent in 2012, Richard Mourdock, the state treasurer, cast Mr. Lugar as out of touch with his constituents, and pointedly noted that the senator had not lived in Indiana for years. Mr. Mourdock won, but then lost the general election to the Democrat, Joe Donnelly, who attended Wednesday’s service.

“Models like that are hard to come by in any era, and right now they seem especially scarce,” Mr. Daniels said in an interview. He recalled that Mr. Lugar served with Senators Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Edmund Muskie, Henry Jackson, Howard Baker and Jacob Javits. “It is kind of hard to think today’s Senate will be remembered in the same way,” he said.

Mr. Lugar long held aspirations to be president, and he ran for the Republican nomination in 1996. His record was that of an orthodox conservative, but his lower-key, big-picture approach could verge on the ponderous and he did not connect with primary voters.

But Mr. Lugar later proved to be an important mentor to another presidential candidate, Barack Obama. In 2005, Mr. Lugar took Mr. Obama, a freshman Senator from Illinois, on a tour of nuclear facilities in the former Soviet Union, providing him with some needed experience in international affairs.

Mr. Obama awarded Mr. Lugar the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.

“We will miss him,” Mr. Nunn said. “So will the world.”

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