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|Subject: Robert Straub, Former Oregon Governor|
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Date Posted: November 28, 2002 9:36:41 EDT
Robert William Straub, Oregon's Democratic governor from 1975 to 1979, died late Wednesday at a long-term care facility. He was 82.
Straub, who also made an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Congress, had battled Alzheimer's disease for three years, his son, Mike Straub, said Thursday.
Straub was elected governor in 1974. He is credited with reducing Oregon's unemployment rate and hiring more women, minority and disabled people in top government positions than any other governor before him.
As governor, he rechanneled freeway money into mass transit, jump-starting Portland's light-rail system.
In his previous job as state treasurer, Straub invested public retirement funds in the stock market - a move that reaped billions of dollars in revenue and allowed hundreds of public employees to retire in unprecedented comfort.
Straub became known for his support for the environment, backing conservation efforts and worrying about increases in air and water pollution. He also supported a bill that defined Oregon beaches as public domain.
"The death of Governor Straub is a great loss to the state," said Gov. John Kitzhaber. "He leaves behind a strong environmental record that will live on as his legacy."
Straub was born in San Francisco in 1920 and was raised in a staunchly Republican household. He served in the Army during World War II and received undergraduate and graduate degrees in business from Dartmouth College in the 1940s.
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