Former Arkansas Governor, US Senator Dale Bumpers Dies at Age 90

Dale Bumpers, a former Arkansas governor and U.S. senator, has died. He was 90. Bumpers died Friday night in Little Rock, according to his son, Brent Bumpers. Bumpers was under hospice care and died due to natural causes and complications from a broken hip suffered in a recent fall, his son said.



Family’s statement

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father and husband, Senator Dale Bumpers.  He passed away Fridaynight, January 1,  in his home surrounded by our family.  We want to thank his many friends and colleagues who have supported him and us over the years.  While most people knew him as a great governor, senator and public servant, we remember him best as a loving father and husband who gave us unconditional love and support and whose life provided wonderful guidance on how to be a compassionate and productive person.  Arrangements for his memorial service are being handled by Roller Funeral Homes.

Betty, Brent, Bill and Brooke Bumpers


Bumpers Remembered:

Brent Bumpers – said he believes his father would want to be remembered as both a champion of the underdog and a defender of the Constitution. “He often listed that as among his proudest battles, he fought against many efforts to amend the Constitution. He revered it so much,” Brent Bumpers said.

Former President Bill Clinton – “For more than 40 years Hillary and I cherished his friendship. I am grateful that his advice made me a better governor and president,” Clinton said. “I loved him. I loved learning from him and laughing with him. I will miss him very much.”

Governor Tim Hutchinson – “The entire state mourns the loss of an Arkansas legend, In my first statewide race, Dale took me to school on Arkansas politics. He was a master storyteller, and his stump speaking was impossible to beat.”

Former Governor Mike Huckabee – Janet and I were deeply saddened by the news of Senator Bumpers’ death. I first knew him as a political opponent and I must confess he beat me like a drum. Later, when I became Governor and he was the Senior Senator we worked very well together. Senator Bumpers was extremely helpful to the state and to me personally. His distinguished service to his country in the Marine Corps, to his state as a Governor and Senator is a legacy of which his family can be justly proud. Our political differences aside, he was a dedicated public servant who always reminded his audiences that ‘public service is a noble calling.’ His wife Betty is also a proud public servant who was a strong ally of Janet’s efforts to promote childhood immunizations and renovate the Governor’s mansion. Betty and the family are in our prayers.

Former Governor Mike Beebe – “Dale’s passion for good policy and responsible government brought opponents to common ground and inspired the detached to become involved citizens,” Beebe said.

U.S. Senator John Boozman – “Dale Bumpers was a larger than life figure in Arkansas politics who was highly respected in Washington D.C. and here at home. His sincere dedication to the state of Arkansas was paired with exceptional oratory skills and a relentless commitment to every challenge he took on. Senator Bumpers leaves behind a legacy of public service, civic responsibility and accomplishments that has undoubtedly made our state a better place to live. I join with all Arkansans as we mourn his passing and keep his family and loved ones in our thoughts and prayers.”

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton – “Today I join all Arkansans in mourning the death of Dale Bumpers—a true Arkansas public servant. As both Governor and Senator, Dale’s tireless dedication to our state spanned decades and his legacy will long outlive his time in office. We are forever grateful for his service and his commitment to Arkansas. My thoughts and prayers are with the Bumpers family.”

Bumpers is survived by his wife, Betty Bumpers, two sons and a daughter. Funeral services are pending.