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Former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh Dies

  • VOA News

FILE - From left, Former Oregon Governors Vic Atiyeh, Barbara Roberts and Ted Kulongoski speak at a news conference in Portland, Oregon.

FILE - From left, Former Oregon Governors Vic Atiyeh, Barbara Roberts and Ted Kulongoski speak at a news conference in Portland, Oregon.

Vic Atiyeh (uh-YEE-uh), the last Republican governor of the northwestern U.S. state of Oregon, has died at the age of 91.

Atiyeh, the son of a Syrian immigrant, was also America's first Arab-American governor.

He served 20 years in Oregon's legislature before becoming governor. He led the state from 1979 to 1987.

Atiyeh was elected governor on a platform of cutting taxes, but instead raised them amid a brutal recession.

He was also remembered for cutting his own salary as governor three times to show he was intent on balancing the state budget.

Atiyeh turned down an offer to play for the Green Bay Packers professional (American-style) football team to take over his family's rug business.

His wife of 70 years, Dolores, was with him when he died.

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