Former state Representative and Upper Keys resident Ken Sorensen died at his home Friday morning, a week after suffering a heart attack.
Sorensen, 77, served in the state House from 1998 to 2006. Sorensen previously served four years on the Monroe County Commission, serving one term as county mayor. He suffered from a heart attack last week and had been hospitalized in Miami. He had returned home this week.
Sorensen regularly lunched with other politicos on Fridays at Snapper's restaurant in Tavernier. He was scheduled to have lunch with the group on Friday.
"He was an extremely intelligent and amazing man," said former Monroe County State Attorney Mark Kohl, who was among the late legislator's lunch group. "I can't say enough about the guy."
Sorensen was born in Chicago and was a pilot for Eastern Airlines. He moved to Key Largo in 1970 and later became active in politics, his son John Sorensen said. He was a Monroe County commissioner from 1980 to 1984, serving as county mayor from 1983 to 1984. He also served on the South Florida Regional Planning Council and the state Association of County Commissioners.
Sorensen was a Miami-Dade/Monroe County delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1980 and 1984.
"He dedicated his life to public service," John Sorensen said. "He lived life to the fullest."
As a state representative, Sorensen helped set up the Key Largo Wastewater District, said Ron Saunders, who currently serves as the state representative for the Keys.
"He really got the ball rolling," Saunders said. "He was always very well-liked and well-respected in Tallahassee. He had always been a strong advocate for the Keys."
After leaving office in 2006, Sorensen served as a senior policy adviser for then-Florida Speaker of the House Marco Rubio. Sorensen also worked on Rubio's successful campaign to become the federal House representative who serves South Florida.
A time and date for a memorial service has yet to be set, his son John said.