Indiana's 48th Governor has passed away.
Joe Kernan, who served in the office from 2003 to 2005, died after dealing with Alzheimer's disease. He was 74.
"Indiana mourns the loss of Joe Kernan, a bona fide American hero, decorated Navy officer, and truly selfless statesman who always placed the interests of his fello Hoosiers first," Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said.
Kernan served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. He was shot down and was a prisoner of war for 11 months in North Vietnam.
After returning from the war, Kernan served as South Bend Mayor for three terms before becoming the Lieutenant Governor under Frank O'Bannon in 1997.
Kernan became Governor when O'Bannon died from a stroke while serving office.
"Without regard for personal cost, Joe Kernan devoted every ounce of his life, time and again," Gov. Holcomb said.
Kernan lost the 2004 gubernatorial election to Mitch Daniels and soon after, retired from politics. He served as a adjunct professor at the University of Notre Dame.
Recently, in an article from Notre Dame Magazine, it was revealed that Kernan had Alzheimer's diesease.