Former state legislator Hood dies from virus complications

WEST BLOOMFIELD (AP) — Morris Hood III, a former Democratic state legislator from Detroit, has died of COVID-19. He was 54.

Hood’s family confirmed he died on Monday, Wayne County Executive Warren Evan’s office said Tuesday.

“He was the very definition of a public servant, one who dedicated his life to improving the lives of others and bettering his community,” Evans said.

Hood most recently worked as a member of Evan’s administration. He served in the state House from 2003 to 2008, and in the Michigan Senate from 2011 to 2018 where he represented Detroit, Dearborn and Melvindale.

Hood underwent kidney transplant surgery several years ago. Evans’ spokesman Bill Nowling told The Detroit News on Tuesday that Hood had the coronavirus and had been placed on a ventilator.

More than 9,920 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Detroit. About 1,215 people in the city have died from the virus.

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, a Flint Democrat, called Hood’s death heartbreaking.

“Morris was a friend, a confidant and a spiritual rock for our caucus during his time in the legislature,” Ananich said. “Everyone who served with him has a story of how Morris’ perspective on life helped them through a difficult personal or political situation.”

Hood “was at his best when he was delivering his year-end speeches, encouraging us to stay close to our loved ones and to tell people that you love them,” Ananich added. “We should honor him by doing just that, every day, especially while the coronavirus continues to steal lives too early from us.”

Hood’s father, Morris Hood Jr., also served as a state representative.

“Morris was a dear friend. He was a proud Detroiter and continued the family commitment to the service of his community,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “There was not a more loyal friend, thoughtful advisor or quicker wit. Mo was the type of guy that lit up the room and made you glad to be there.”

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.