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James Henderson Jr., former Arizona state senator and US Army veteran, dies at 80

James Henderson Jr.
Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President
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U.S. Army veteran and former Arizona state Sen. James Henderson Jr. died Dec. 30, 2022 in Gallup, N.M.

The Navajo Nation Council is honoring the late Arizona state Senator James Henderson Junior.

He died in Gallup, New Mexico Friday. Henderson was born in Ganado and served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army until 1968.

He was wounded in battle and received a Purple Heart before he was elected to the Arizona Legislature in 1985.

Henderson represented the state’s third district until 1999 and also served as National Commander of the Navajo Nation Veterans Organization.

According to Navajo Speaker Otto Tso, Henderson advocated for his constituents at the state and federal level and was a voice for children, elders and families across the Navajo Nation and state of Arizona.

He is survived by his wife, children, 46 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren. He was 80 years old.