BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A former Louisiana Congressman who served in the Air Force, worked as a surgeon, and earned a master’s in business administration reportedly passed away this weekend.

After learning of former Congressman John Cooksey’s death, Governor John Bel Edwards on Saturday, publicly expressed his appreciation for the late politician with the following words: “Former Congressman John Cooksey leaves behind a long legacy of service to our state and nation that will not soon be forgotten. He has helped and inspired countless young people and worked hard to improve life for others.

He served his country and his community in every way he could, from the Air Force to Congress to his medical practice as an ophthalmologist. Donna and I offer prayers and condolences to his family and all those he touched.”

Cooksey served as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives for Louisiana’s 5th congressional district between the years of 1997 and 2003.

At the time of his death, Cooksey was 80 years old.