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Former Texas Governor Clements Passes Away

Capitol Portrait courtesy of the Texas State Preservation Board.
Former Texas Governor Bill Clements.

Former Texas Governor William "Bill" Clements has died. He was 94.

Clements was born in 1917 and served in the Nixon and Ford Administrations in Washington as well as two rounds as Texas Governor.  His first election was historic - he became the first Republican elected governor since Reconstruction.

Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison joined with other lawmakers with comments on the former governor's passing. "“Governor Clements ushered in a new era in Texas politics as the first Republican to win a statewide race in Texas," she wrote. "During his terms in office, the Governor's Mansion was renovated with great attention to historical accuracy and his appointments to our state universities' Boards of Regents and other state commissions were noted for their quality. He was a no-nonsense, straight talking leader who embodied the potential our state has to offer."

House Speaker Joe Straus released a statement that read, "Julie and I are saddened by the passing of former Texas Governor Bill Clements, with whom my family enjoyed a decades-long friendship," Speaker Straus said.  "We extend our deepest sympathies and heartfelt prayers to Rita and the entire Clements family."

The Austin American-Statesman reports that 

Clements, 94, had been in ill health since suffering a stroke last year, family friends had said. He reportedly died at the UT Southwestern Medical Center Hospital in Dallas. No other details were immediately available. Clements served as Texas’ 42nd and 44th governors, serving from 1979 to 1983 and 1987 to 1991. His eight years in office were the most served by any governor prior to current Gov. Rick Perry, who office in December 2000 after then-Gov. George Bush was elected president.


Emily Donahue is a former grants writer for KUT. She previously served as news director and helped launch KUT’s news department in 2001.