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Tributes to Ann Richards...


Richards 'epitome of Texas politics'

Her wit made headlines, but progressive agenda reshaped state

Thursday, September 14, 2006
By WAYNE SLATER / The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN – Former Gov. Ann Richards, who opened the doors of state government to women and minorities and won national celebrity with her lively humor and Texas twang, died Wednesday night at her home. She was 73.

She had battled esophageal cancer, which was diagnosed in March. Her four adult children spent the day with her, said Cathy Bonner, a longtime family friend and family spokeswoman.

DMN file
"The greatest part of my life was the opportunity to be in public service," Ann Richards said after leaving office. The second woman to serve as governor of Texas, Ms. Richards broke tradition by pressing for more diversity within state agencies and pursued a progressive agenda that emphasized ethics, the environment and insurance reform.

"Ann Richards was the epitome of Texas politics: a figure larger than life who had a gift for captivating the public with her great wit," Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday night. "She was an endearing and enduring figure in Texas politics. She paved the way as a leader and a role model for women who aspire to the highest levels of leadership. Anita and I are saddened by a loss that will be felt by many. Ann Richards left Texas a better place."