by Madeleine Hubbard
Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, the Ohio man who became known as “Joe the Plumber” after confronting then-candidate Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign, has died, his wife said. He was 49.
“Our hearts are broken. We lost a beloved husband, father, son, brother and friend. He made an impact on so many lives,” his wife, Katie Wurzelbacher, said, Fox News Digital reported Monday.
Joe Wurzelbacher died Sunday after he said last month that he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer.
“My heart goes out to everyone whose lives are impacted by cancer. There are so many ups and downs but we tried to find joy in every day. He fought long and hard, but is now free from pain,” his wife said. “I don’t think of him as losing his battle. Because he knew Jesus, his battle was won.”
Wurzelbacher, who owned a plumbing business during the 2008 campaign, came to represent middle-class Americans after his interaction with Obama at a campaign event in Toledo, Ohio. Wurzelbacher had told Obama that his tax plan would conflict with the American dream, but Obama responded by saying that the plan would spur small business growth.
John McCain, the late U.S. senator for Arizona and GOP presidential candidate in 2008, referenced “Joe the Plumber” during his White House bid and even had Wurzelbacher join him on the campaign trail.
Wurzelbacher went on to unsuccessfully run against incumbent Ohio Democrat Rep. Marcy Kaptur in 2012.
Wurzelbacher is survived by his wife and children.
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Madeleine Hubbard joined Just the News as a fast file reporter after working as an editor at Breitbart News. Follow Hubbard on X or Instagram.
Photo “Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher” by Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher.