Former Gov. Vic Atiyeh, who in the 1980s led Oregon through its worst economic strife since the Great Depression, died Sunday at age 91. Atiyeh, the last Republican Governor, served from 1979 to 1987, faced a series of budget crises as the state's timber industry collapsed and tossed tens of thousands of people out work. Atiyeh is generally credited with focusing Oregon on economic development to help diversify its job base.
Gov. John Kitzhaber, who first served in the Legislature when Atiyeh was governor, also marked Atiyeh's death.
"[H]e was both a mentor and a friend. He led Oregon out of the recession of the early 1980s, with a strategy embraced by both parties, and went on to make international trade a cornerstone of Oregonâs economy. He will be greatly missed, yet his steady leadership, gentle spirit, and love for our state lives on in the many contributions he made to Oregon."
You can watch Atiyeh describe his legacy for Oregon in a 1986 interview with Medford station KTVL-TV.