Longtime Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board member Currie Ballard has died.
Board Chairman Marc Dreyer told The Oklahoman that Ballard was found Friday afternoon in his Logan County home. Dreyer said Ballard’s physician told him Ballard likely died of natural causes.
“He was in church Sunday, and then was found today,” Dreyer said Friday.
Found by neighbor
“It seems like, from the bits and pieces that I have been able to put together, that his neighbor found him. It’s conceivable that he could have died several days ago.”
Ballard, 56, was nearing the completion of his second full term as a member of the pardon and parole board.
Terms are for four years, and Ballard served under Gov. Frank Keating and Gov. Mary Fallin, who appointed him to the position in 2011.
Fallin said Friday she was saddened to hear of Ballard’s death.
“Currie Ballard was a renowned and self-taught historian who felt a calling to share his knowledge,” Fallin said in a statement. “He was particularly passionate about African-American history and culture, and the many ways they have impacted the state and people of Oklahoma.”
In 2009, he was appointed assistant secretary of the Oklahoma Senate by then-Sen. Glen Coffee, and he also worked for many years as a historian at Langston University.
“The Langston University family is deeply saddened by the passing of former Assistant Secretary of the Senate Currie Ballard. Ballard was an exemplary and prominent historian. His work and accomplishments touched the lives of many and he will be deeply missed. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time,” Kent J. Smith Jr. president of Langston University said in a statement.
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