CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dan Ramirez, a former Mecklenburg County commissioner and the first Latino elected to office in the county, has died of Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 66.
Son-in-law Doug Vinson said Ramirez died Sunday after battling the disease for two years.
Ramirez grew up in Colombia. He and his family moved to the United States in 1970, and four years later, they moved to Charlotte. Four years after that, he started his own business, Nova Digital Systems, a geographical information systems company.
Ramirez was elected to the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners in 2002 and again in 2006.
In February 2012, Ramirez was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Last year, Ramirez was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of North Carolina's highest honors, by Gov. Pat McCrory.