Former Texas Governor Bill Clements dies at 94

Reuters News
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Posted: May 29, 2011 6:54 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Former Texas Governor Bill Clements, who was the state's first Republican governor since Reconstruction when he took office in 1979, has died at the age of 94.

Clements, who served two terms as governor, from 1979 to 1983 and from 1987 to 1991, was remembered by current Governor Rick Perry as "the father of the modern day Republican party" in the state.

Expressing condolences from himself and his wife Anita, Perry said in a statement: "Anita and I are deeply saddened today as our state and nation have lost a true pioneer, and a larger-than-life entrepreneur, public servant and, most of all, a Texan."

"Today, Texans and Americans have lost a leader whose leadership, service and patriotism were unparalleled," Perry said in the written statement released through his office.

Clements, was born in Dallas in 1917 and served as deputy secretary of defense under President Richard Nixon before running for Texas governor.

(Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Jerry Norton)