Beto O’Rourke Mourns Sister

Sometimes the people closest to us are the ones who inspire us to want to change the world. Sometimes the struggles of the ones we love can be all the motivation someone needs to propose a change, to stand strong on an issue, or even to run for office.

Beto O’Rourke ran for governor of Texas in 2022 against opponent Greg Abbott. Abbott ultimately won, but that wasn’t the end of O’Rourke’s campaigning. He announced that he had a new campaign – his mother’s health.

In a concession post on social media, O’Rourke announced that his mother, Melissa O’Rourke, was battling cancer. He said, “Mom I love you so much! We’re all on your campaign now!”

That was only a last month. Now, not only is O’Rourke dealing with his mother’s health issues, but he has more sad news to cope with. He announced yesterday that his sister, Erin “Bear” O’Rourke, has died. He posted a picture of his sister and captioned the post, “We lost our sister Erin this morning. A beautiful soul, a loving sister, daughter & friend. She had more than her share of challenges in life but kept her heart open to all throughout.We’re grateful to all who loved and cared for her. Rest in peace, Bear. We love you forever.” She was only 42 years old. A cause of death has not been disclosed.


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Erin O’Rourke had intellectual disabilities, and at one point, her brother was her legal guardian. His sisters disabilities motivated him to fight for health care policies that would help the disabled community.

In 2020, Beto O’Rourke credited his sister for helping him and for criticizing him. He told The Washington Post that his sister had “no filter.” She was completely honest with everything she said, and her brother found that helpful. He said, “If I screw something up, she’ll be the first to let me know.”