, the former longtime chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw
, was taken off life support and remained in critical condition as of this morning.
Martin, 83, was admitted to a hospital on Monday after suffering a "massive" stroke. Doctors said the damage was "irreversible," a family spokesperson said.
"His physician has determined there is no reversing the trauma he has sustained," the spokesperson told The Neshoba Democrat. "However, he is resting comfortably and is in no immediate pain. In the next final hours, days or perhaps longer, the family is requesting that this been seen through with the upmost privacy."
Martin served as chief for 32 years. He rose to national prominence after bringing his tribe out of poverty by embracing self-determination and economic development.
Martin welcomed non-Indian businesses to the reservation but the tribe also saw success through Indian gaming. Casino revenues turned the tribe into one of the largest political players in Mississippi and in Washington, D.C., before the Jack Abramoff
lobbying scandal tainted Martin's legacy.
Martin lost his bid for re-election in 2007 amid the growing scandal. He also came under fire for pushing an off-reservation casino at a time when some on Capitol Hill were determined to stop the practice.
In the past couple of years, Martin seemed to be taking a break from politics, though he had reached out to some of the tribes that were affected by the scandal in an attempt to mend relations. Last summer, he published an autobiography and made some public appearances to promote it.
Get the Story:
Martin's physician says no reversing trauma from stroke
(The Neshoba Democrat 2/4)
Update on Phillip Martin
Related Stories:Former Choctaw chief
hospitalized in critical condition
(2/3) Opinion: Phillip Martin led Choctaw