Former Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly dies at 75

By Kirsten Dorman
Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, March 22, 2023 - 2:14pm

After the death of Peterson Zah earlier this month, another former Navajo Nation president has died.

Ben Shelly was the Navajo Nation’s seventh president and served for one term. According to a family spokesperson, he died Wednesday morning in New Mexico after a long illness. Shelly was 75 years old.

Before he was elected president in 2011, Shelly served for 16 years as a member of the Navajo Nation Council. He was previously a county commissioner. Most recently, Shelly and his family ran a transportation business.

A private service will be held for Shelly, and a public memorial will be planned at a future date.

Ben Shelly
Navajo Nation
Former Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly

Native American Affairs