INDIANA (WFIE) - Former Indiana Gov. Joe Kernan has died at age 74.
His governor’s office chief of staff says Kernan died early Wednesday at a South Bend health care facility.
Kernan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease several years ago, but his family kept his condition private until disclosing earlier this month that he had lost the ability to speak and was living in a care facility.
Kernan, a Democrat, won three elections as South Bend’s mayor before being elected lieutenant governor with Gov. Frank O’Bannon in 1996.
Kernan became governor in September 2003 after O’Bannon’s death and served for 16 months before he lost the 2004 election.