Local Politics

Former state Rep. Bob Hensley has died

Posted August 18, 2009
Updated August 20, 2009

— Former North Carolina Rep. Bob Hensley Jr. died Tuesday at Rex Hospital from complications of leukemia, a spokeswoman said. He represented Wake County in the state House from 1990 to 2002.

Hensley, an attorney, was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and did graduate study at North Carolina State University. He earned his law degree from North Carolina Central University. He is survived by his wife, Pat Granger Hensley, and sons, Preston, Chris and Robert Hensley III.

Hensley, 62, was a pivotal player in the passage of the North Carolina cyberstalking law, which makes it a crime to communicate threats via electronic media such as e-mail, fax, pager and cellular phone. He proposed the measure before the rise of widespread wireless, high-speed Internet access and the explosion in text messaging and social networks such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

Hensley's law also criminalizes unauthorized access to computer networks, including Denial of Service attacks, which block access to computers for authorized users.

"Bob Hensley was a spirited and dedicated public servant who fought for what he thought was right and always cared about the average citizen," said his successor in the House, Rep. Deborah Ross.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Governor Bev Perdue issued this statement in memory of Hensley:

Bob Hensley was a public servant who had the best interests of North Carolina at heart and was never afraid to speak up for what he believed. His passion, determination and sense of humor left a lasting mark on his constituents and on North Carolina. He will be missed.


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  • Legio VI Aug 19, 2009

    Bob was great man and he will be sorely missed! He was also a scholar of the Civil War and we had some great conversations about the War of Southern Independence in his office!
    Godspeed and thanks for your service to our community!!

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Aug 18, 2009

    He was a gentleman and a darn good attorney. He will be missed.

  • Southern Gal Aug 18, 2009

    What, no photo????

  • Adelinthe Aug 18, 2009

    A major news station that doesn't have a photo of the deceased?


    Praying for the loved ones of the deceased.

    God bless.


  • Granpaa Aug 18, 2009

    Bob was one one of the best souls I've ever met. New him from the late 1960's hwne I was an Officer with RPD. He was constantly working for his clients and was never disrespectful of our job. He called you by your first name and some of us by our nicknames. He never call the Police wrong or his clients, just "How can we make this situation better". This "mediator" mentality carried own as our representative for many years. Whether he agreed with the bill or not he tried to see how all parties opinions would be represented. He leaves a legacy of kingness, gentle spirit, and a good heart for everyone. St Peter has already no doubt said " Hi Bob, come on in, we've been waiting for you. God speed, my friend.

  • charlesboyer Aug 18, 2009

    Mr. Hensley was also my family's attorney, a job he did flawlessly well.

    Condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed.

  • shepherd Aug 18, 2009

    Rep. Bob Hensley was one of the few decent Democrats this state has ever seen. I've always admired him.

    He was among a handful of dissident Democrats during the early 2000s who didn't hesitate to buck the will of then-Speaker Jim Black.

  • jvdavis13 Aug 18, 2009

    Mr. Hensley was a fine and decent man who acted as our family attorney for years. He will be missed.

  • OncomingStorm Aug 18, 2009

    One of the best- he'll be very sorely missed at the WCCH!