Former Insurance Commissioner, Jim Long, Dies at 68

Former Insurance Commissioner, Jim Long has died as a result of a stroke he suffered on January 21. He was 68 years old. For many of us, Jim Long was the only Insurance Commissioner we've known in NC. He was a true public servant and will be greatly missed.

I did not know Jim personally, but as a consumer I will remember him as the man who stood up to the insurance companies so that the rest of us could afford our premiums.

We owe Jim's wife and family a debt of gratitude. Public life isn't always easy. Jim could not have served the people of North Carolina if they had not been willing to make sacrifices. Peg, thank you for sharing so much with us.


I hate to say this

but there's a lot of dying going around these days. We're beginning to see the crest of the Age Wave that everyone has been talking about for years.

I've been to three funerals

in the last three weeks, and they've been relatively pleasant events. Which...I find sort of disturbing. I mean, I understand it's about showing respect for the dead and helping the family cope, but the thought of people doing that at my funeral and then dashing out to grab brunch somewhere is depressing. I'd prefer much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and maybe some icon-smashing as an added touch.

Jim touched a lot of people during his career, and he protected millions of North Carolinians from having their insurance rates go up unnecessarily. Maybe Wayne will stop by and share some stories with us.

Back to The Future With James?

It has been argued that during 2008-2032, USA will experience the highest population growth, where as in Japan the population will decline. Thus demographically USA may represent better prospects for the stock market[5].*Wackerpeter

I hate to say this
but there's a lot of dying going around these days. We're beginning to see the crest of the Age Wave that everyone has been talking about for years.*James

By 2032, the USA will be just like the movie " Escape from New York". President Montely along with his Chief Adviser Doctor Strangelove have escape to a deep mine shaft and extended their life expectancy by a 100 years, since the Doomsday policy deems 125 women to one man.
Cheer up James with this good news, your name was found in Doctor Strangelove Doomsday policy book on the good to go list. Now for the Bad news, President Montely claims that you have not donated to his future campaigns and has put your name as the last person to exit the Planet in 2032.

Sad Day for the State

Jim Long always stood up for the "little people" in this state. He put everything he could behind what he believed in, and will be missed for a long time.

"Keep the Faith"

Jim was the "Real Deal"

Y'all are totally right. Jim loved his job (and was good at it), he loved people, he fought for the little guy, and he loved the Democratic Party.

During my entire four years as Chair, I had two pictures on my desk -- of me and Jim Long. (Later I added a third, of me and my wife).

When I first decided to run for State Chair, I asked Jim for his support. He committed his support to me. When the then Governor endorsed someone else, I called Jim and asked if he was still onboard. He couldn't have been more supportive. Throughout my campaign for State Chair, Jim was the only prominent elected official to endorse me.

Over the last four years, he was always accessible. He was always candid. He didn't always tell me what I wanted to hear, but that's what a friend does. And I valued his thoughts more than you can imagine.

Jim was a great servant of the people of NC. But, he was also an amazing friend to so many of us. My prayers go out to his wife, Peg, and his family.

For those of you who didn't get to know him personally, you missed an incredible opportunity. He was one in a million.

Our friend, Jim Long

Today we lost a true friend, Jim Long.

He stuck with so many of us through thick and thin during his tenure in State government, and he always - always - stood up for what was best for consumers and families, doing his best to meet the dual goals of an Insurance Commissioner. (Those statutory goals are: affordable, accessible insurance and a solvent, well-regulated, competitive insurance market.)

And he was so proud of helping be a part of turning North Carolina blue in 2008.

Jim supported countless causes in ways that you may have not known about but whose support by him had a tremendous impact in our State - for example, Safe Kids North Carolina, Prevention Partners, the Special Olympics, and the Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

In many ways, Jim Long was the last of an era but he also remained connected to and supportive of positive changes in technology, health care, public safety, and politics over the years. On the latter, Jim was an early supporter of public financing of Council of State campaigns and various other positive campaign finance reforms.

He loved life, solving problems, a hearty laugh, BBQ, and having a good time at everything he did.

I know that a previous post asked that I provide some stories. And, as you can imagine, there are stories a-plenty given the friend we remember tonight. However, today has been quite a blow to all of us at the Department ... so I hope you'll forgive me for wanting to hold off on any stories until maybe tomorrow or Thursday. In many respects, I'm not quite ready to do that yet.

The visitation will be Wednesday, the funeral services on Thursday, and the burial on Friday.

Please keep Jim's widow, Peg, and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Jim Long...a true friend and public servant to NC!

Jim Long was always full of life, full of humor and jokes, full of wisdom, and a true friend. When I first came to the legislature he was one of the first members of the council of state to welcome and congratulate me. Everytime I would see him he would always tell me he was proud of me. He was always so supportive. He could always make me laugh.
A year and a half ago, Wayne Goodwin was sponsoring a big 8th Congressional Dinner in Richmond County. I offered to drive Jim and Jerry. ( We were dating at the time but it was not public.) After a brief time in the car, Jim figured out pretty fast about me and Jerry and teased us and gave lots of advice. It was very apparent how in love he was with Peg. What a great example they set for everyone! After Jerry proposed, Jerry immediately called Jim and broke the exciting news. Jim told everyone! Jerry and I laugh that we don't know if more people found out from the AP about our engagement or from Jim Long. We suspected Jim.
Jim gave his heart and soul for ALL citizens of NC. He worked hard everyday to protect the citizens and consumers. He was known throughout the country for his leadership in the insurance industry. Even people who disagreed with him respected him. Jim Long made this state and world a much better and safer place.

Rep. Tricia Cotham
State Representative District 100

Jim Long

The day that Jim Long announced his retirement was also the day that Marshall Adame had a fundraiser at the NC Democratic Party Headquarters which Jim Long attended and addressed. You would think that the day you announce your retirement you'd be headed to a bar or restaurant to celebrate. Jim Long spent his evening endorsing a relatively unknown candidate running a principled campaign to unseat Walter Jones in the 3rd Congressional District. He made an entertaining speech which included a tongue in cheek promise to hand over the rolls of dead voters and whipping a bag of french fries out of his pocket to mock Walter Jones' superficial posturing over "freedom fries". I'm saddened that he could not enjoy his retirement and glad that I had an opportunity to meet him and see him in action.

What a memorable evening

I felt a little self-conscious when I first arrived, but that didn't last long. It may have been the thing about the dead voters, but Jim said something that got me so tickled I had to step into the hallway for a second and get myself together. :)

Funeral arrangements

from The Rocky Mount Telegram:

Long's funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday at The Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter in Burlington. Visitation will be held in Burlington on Friday morning at the church and in Raleigh on Wednesday afternoon and evening at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home near downtown Raleigh. Details on a service Thursday in Raleigh haven't been finalized, according to a family spokeswoman.

Jim Long was my friend

Jim Long was a champion of the people. A real life Knight in Shinning Armor.

Jim had absolutly nothing to gain by reaching his hand of friendship and support to me when I was a candidate for office, but he did it and not only that. He actually became my friend.

North Carolina has lost a giant of a man. Jim Long was a true voice for those who so often have no voice. I will miss him.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

I Have Cried Today

I have cried today about the loss of a friend.

I can say this in all honesty, I aspire to be half the man that Jim Long was. Why half, because there can never be another like Jim. The countless stories that would split your sides, combined with the loving support of a friend, mixed with an aura that made you feel warm on the coldest days. Jim will be missed. I am thankful to have spent any of the moments in time we did together. We all will have our memories to cherish. My thoughts go out to his family and friends in this a time of need for us all.

Jay Ovittore

“The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.” Thomas Jefferson

Jim Long Cared About People

I didn't know Jim well and at the same time I knew him quite well. Jim Long cared about the people of North Carolina and the quality of their lives. You knew this in the way he performed his job -with dedication and commitment. I didn't think much about insurance until I met the person responsible for its oversight. An individual whose very appearance reassured you that the business of NC Insurance was in good hands.

I remember well the day Jerry Meeks was elected the NCDP State Chair and Jim Long standing with him. I thought, "What a great guy and a real friend!" I, also, remember the remarkable friendship that he and Wayne Goodwin shared. I felt really good supporting Wayne to follow after him as Insurance Commissioner.

Seeing Jim's wife, Peg, at the meeting last Saturday wearing the "red" necktie and a smile was a comfort to us all. We will keep the family and dear friends in our prayers. Jim Long's legacy of love and care for the people of North Carolina will never be forgotten. A soldier gone home .... Well done. A special thank you to the family for sharing Jim with the people of North Carolina.

Dannie Montgomery

Our friend Jim Long

I was out of the country when Jim passed.I have been home less than a week and this is the first time I have been on the site since I got home.

As for Jim, he was a once in a lifetime public servent.He served this state not just with his honor, but also with his humanity. What a wonderful sense of humor he had , and a wonderful outlook for life and his fellow man.

Wayne has as fine a role model for his office as he could ever have, and I know Wayne will miss his wisdom and council, as all who knew him will.

Elaine Marshall called me when Jim died and told me. I could hear in her voice how much she would miss her friend Jim Long.

I am just glad that I had the chance to cross paths with Jim several time over the last 3 years and got the chance to get to know him and to enjoy the man behind the office. What an outstanding human being.

To me, the most important thing we can do to honor Jim Long is to carry on his kind of public service. Let his example be his legacy to our party and our state. If we do that, we honor him everyday.

Rest well Jim.

Hugh Wilde

Welcome back.

We've missed you.