Veteran Colorado politician Joseph B. Rogers, who was 49 when he died unexpectedly Monday at Rose Medical Center in Denver, was the youngest American and fourth African-American elected as a state lieutenant governor.
Rogers was 35 when he was sworn in as Colorado's lieutenant governor in 1999. The New York Times called him a "young, articulate, energetic and well-prepared newcomer." Ebony magazine called him a "political trailblazer," and in 2000, he was a principal speaker at the GOP National Convention.
He was the second black politician (after George L. Brown) to hold that position in Colorado, serving through 2002.