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Former Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Chief dies

DURANT, Okla. (KFOR) – The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma says former Chief, Gregory E. Pyle has died. He was 70 years old.

Chief Pyle served as the Choctaw Nation’s Chief from 1997-2014, after serving more than 13 years as the Assistant Chief of the tribe.

Chief Pyle announced his resignation from office at a party to celebrate his 65th birthday, with an effective date of April 28, 2014. Gary Batton, Assistant Chief under Pyle, assumed the role of Chief of the Choctaw Nation.

Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after hearing about the Chief’s passing:

“I am saddened to learn of the passing of Gregory Pyle, the former Principal Chief of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. He was a great leader for his people and for the state of Oklahoma. And he was a valued and dear friend to me and to many other Oklahomans. Chief Pyle was one of the most consequential Native American leaders of his generation. He led his people to unprecedented prosperity, making his nation one of the most important economic drivers in Oklahoma. On the national level, he was a tireless advocate for tribal self-determination and sovereignty. To me, Chief Pyle was always a wise advisor, a valued supporter, and a dear friend. I extend my deepest sympathy to his loving family and to the people of the Choctaw Nation, whom he led with distinction and integrity throughout his distinguished career.”

Senator James Lankford (R-OK) issued the following statement on the passing of former Choctaw Nation Chief Gregory E. Pyle:

“Chief Pyle served as the leader of the Choctaws for many years with dignity and commitment to his tribe and our state. He dedicated his career to growing tribal jobs and sharing the culture of the Choctaws with the world. Our hearts and prayers are with his wife, Pat, his children, and his grandchildren as they mourn his loss. He will be missed by many.”

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