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Former Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly Passed Away Wednesday After A Long Illness

Former Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly has passed away. Shelly was sworn in to office in 2011 as the seventh president of the tribe, but lost four years later. However, he stayed in office for months after the vote was delayed by a debate over Dine fluency involving another candidate. Shelly also served as tribal vice president and was a delegate on the Navajo Nation Council for 16 years, representing the community of Thoreau, New Mexico. He was also the first Navajo Nation president from New Mexico. After his presidency, Shelly operated a transportation business with his family. Shelly died Wednesday morning in New Mexico after a long illness. He was 75 years old. He leaves behind his wife of 57 years, Martha Shelly, five children, 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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