Wednesday evening, Rex Hospital doctors determined Long had suffered a stroke. Doctors are continuing to evaluate his condition.
A spokesperson for the hospital says Long's wife, Peg O'Connell, asks that the media respects her family's privacy.
"Commissioner Long is no longer a public figure and we would appreciate media respecting our privacy at this time," O'Connell said. "We very much appreciate the calls and prayers of our friends and the citizens of North Carolina."
Long served as commissioner from 1984. He decided not to run for reelection last year and was replaced by Wayne Goodwin.
Although the public's display of well wishes through gifts and flowers is appreciated by Commissioner Long and his family, Rex Hospital reminds the public that intensive care patients cannot receive flowers and balloons. Cards are welcome.