Thomas Allen Coburn

Politics is a lifetime career for most in American government, and then there are exceptions like Thomas Coburn. The Oklahoma obstetrician who became a Senator and then returned to a productive private life died Saturday of prostate cancer at age 72. He was what America’s Founders imagined in self-governing citizen legislators, and that mentality made him far more consequential than the usual congressional seat-fillers.

Coburn worked in his family’s optical-lens firm before going to medical school and setting up an ob/gyn…

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