Max Cleland served in a variety of public services roles over several decades. Perhaps most famously as a member of the United States Senate from Georgia.

Cleland's career also notably included service with the United States Army. The physical sacrifices he made during his service would change the course of his life.

Passed away on November 9, 2021

Max Cleland has died, reports CNN and Yahoo. The reported cause of death was congestive heart failure. Cleland was the second former United States senator from Georgia to pass away in 2021. The first was David H. Gambrell.

Cleland was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002. A moderate Democrat, he prevailed over the Republican candidate, Guy Miller. Cleland's campaign was likely helped by the significant presence of Libertarian candidate John Cashin in the race. The longtime incumbent, Democrat Sam Nunn, had chosen not to run for re-election. A United States Coast Guard veteran, Nunn had previously been chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Cleland's life would also be immensely impacted by his service in the United States military. He served with the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Army. Reaching the rank of captain and being awarded the Silver Star Medal and Bronze Star Medal along the way. Cleland was assigned to the 12th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division.

It was during the Battle of Khe Sanh that a grenade went off next to Cleland. As a result, he underwent amputations on both of his legs and his right arm. With his mobility severely impaired, Cleland would permanently make use of a wheelchair.

Several years later, Cleland was tapped to lead the Veterans Affairs Administration by U.S.

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President Jimmy Carter. Carter, of course, had been the governor of Georgia before becoming president. At the time, Cleland was the lead U.S. government official on matters regarding the country's military veterans. Later on, the Department of Veterans Affairs was created during the administration of President George H.W. Bush.

The department's head, the secretary of veterans affairs, would become a Cabinet position.

In 2002, Cleland lost his re-election bid to Republican United States Representative Saxby Chambliss. Chambliss would eventually become the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Afterward, Cleland was briefly a member of the 9/11 Commission. He then joined the board of directors for the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Eventually, he was named the secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission.

Was also a top Georgia state official

Max Cleland was raised in Lithonia in central Georgia. He would graduate with a bachelor's degree from Stetson University and with a master's degree from Emory University.

In 1971, Cleland became a member of the Georgia State Senate and remained so until 1975. Later, he was elected as the Georgia secretary of state in 1982. He succeeded Democrat David Poythress, later a lieutenant general in the United States Air Force.

As secretary of state, supported stock policy that would become a model for similar policies around the United States. Cleland resigned from the office to run for the U.S. Senate. Democrat Lewis A. Massey was appointed to replace him.