July 21st, 2014 8:22 am | by WW Staff News | Posted In: Legislature, Politics

Honors Roll In for Former Oregon Gov. Vic Atiyeh

The last Republican to lead Oregon died Sunday at age 91

victor_g._atiyeh_2012Former. Gov. Vic Atiyeh in 2012.

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. 

The Oregonian's obituary provides a thorough history of his career and influence. The Eugene Register-Guard and the Salem Statesman Journal also have obits on line. 

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 Oregon’s 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.

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