Lee Hart, Wife Of Former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart, Dies At 85

Gary Hart, Lee Hart
Warren Jorgensen/AP
Democratic presidential hopeful Gary Hart, right, is accompanied by his wife Lee as he speaks to the crowd at the Red Parrot Disco, Thursday, March 30, 1984, New York. Hart is preparing for the New York Primary set for Tuesday.

The wife of former Sen. Gary Hart of Colorado has died. Lee Hart was 85. She died Friday at a hospital in Lakewood after a brief illness.

Oletha Ludwig Hart was born in Lawrence, Kansas, on Feb. 20, 1936. She graduated from Bethany Nazarene College in 1958 and married her husband that summer.

She campaigned for her husband during his runs for the Senate and the White House. Gary Hart in 1984 sought the Democratic presidential nomination, losing narrowly to former Vice President Walter Mondale. He declined to seek reelection to the Senate in 1986 and unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988.

She is survived by her husband and two children.