Tom Ridge, former governor of Pennsylvania and the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, was discharged from the hospital on Sunday and transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Washington, D.C., according to a statement from his family released Monday morning.
Ridge, 75, suffered a stroke at his residence in Bethesda, Maryland, on June 16. He was conscious when he arrived at the emergency department and later underwent a successful procedure to remove a blood clot.
“Tom wants everyone to know how much he appreciates all those who have reached out to offer their prayers, words of encouragement and love,” said former Pennsylvania First Lady Michele Ridge. “It means so much to all of us. Tom hasn’t lost his sense of humor nor his determination as he begins this important therapy. We are grateful for all of the wonderful health care professionals who have and will continue to help us along his path to recovery.”
Ridge was Pennsylvania’s Republican governor from 1995 to 2001 when he joined the administration of President George W. Bush in the aftermath of 9/11 to become the country’s first Homeland Security secretary.
At the Department of Homeland Security, Ridge headed a sprawling department that was composed of 22 agencies and some 180,000 employees. More recently he has led Ridge Global, a firm that consults on cybersecurity, international security and risk management.
Last year, Ridge joined with Gov. Tom Wolf and former Gov. Ed Rendell in urging voters to have patience as votes were counted in the 2020 presidential election, won by President Joe Biden.
“Last week, the Steelers were down at halftime and the Eagles were losing at halftime and they both came out victorious,” Ridge said on the Wednesday after the election. “The game is not over.”
Ridge suffered a heart attack in Austin, Texas, in November 2017. He had been in Texas to attend a Republican Governors Association conference when he summoned medical help to his hotel.
Ridge is a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War. He was a county prosecutor and six-term congressman from Erie before being elected Pennsylvania governor in 1994.