Ann W. Richards

September 1, 1933 – September 13, 2006
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For a generation of Texans, Ann Richards provided inspiration and thoughtful humor, but most of all leadership. Every Texan, regardless of their political stripe, felt great pride whenever she spoke on our behalf. Here is what others are saying:

“With a sense of humor and a love of Texas, Ann Richards led our state through a time of economic growth, prosperity and opportunity for all. She gave Texas a lot, but perhaps her greatest gift was to help us all laugh at ourselves.” — U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas.

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“She was just such a breath of fresh air to Texas politics and made such a difference for so many people. She was blunt, outspoken, incredibly smart and had a huge heart. They don’t make them like that anymore.” — U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, D-Texas.

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“Like Texas, she was bigger than life. Her loss means that all of us who share her values must redouble our efforts. I will really miss her. To me, she was a friend, neighbor, advisor, and ally.” — U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas.

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Ann Richards was a terrific politician and a truly genuine person. She was the real deal. There were no airs about her. My state and our country need more politicians like Ann Richards. We are a better country because of her time on earth. – Former U.S. Rep. Martin Frost

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“Governor Ann was a beautiful lady and one of the most gifted politicians Texas ever saw…It’s like my daddy used to say at times like this: A tall tree fell in Texas today.” — Former State Comptroller John Sharp

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“Tonight, we lost a true Texas hero in Ann Richards. Ann knew the real meaning of public service, and her dedication to empowering others was evident throughout her entire political career. Ann was a trailblazer and a real treasure, and I know people of all political persuasions are saddened by her passing…I want to express our deepest sympathies to the family of Governor Richards” — Texas Democratic Party Chair Boyd Richie

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“Ann Richards was among Texas’ best. She led well, during a time that cried out for progress and change. “And change Texas government she did. On behalf of countless Texans who had previously felt unrepresented by their own, Ann Richards didn’t just open the door, she kicked it in. “…Governor Richards was a hero to me, and when heroes leave us, they should be remembered well, mourned hard, and cherished forever. As I mourn the loss of this bright yellow rose, I also celebrate that God loaned her to Texas.” — State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

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“She served at the local level, she knew what the county government was all about and she certainly knew what state government and national government was all about. She lead with a lot of great vigor. I have a lot of great memories of Ann Richards and she’s going to be missed. She had a great smile. I have a picture of us in my office hugging and I remember that moment. There’s a lot of things we can look back on and be thankful that Ann Richards lead our state.” — State Senator Eddie Lucio

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“She set the table so somebody like me could become mayor of Dallas. I think her loss is going to be felt deeply because she connected with people on such a personal basis, but hopefully her life, her battles will be an inspiration for what we all can do in our lives.” — Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk.

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“So much of what I know about things … are driven by the passion she had.” — Former Laredo Mayor Betty Flores

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“I think she brought an openness, a willingness to have all sides heard on things, to bring in a lot of groups and interests that had not been heard before, and had not had a chance to participate,” Fainter said. “And you simply can’t dissociate her sense of humor from all that she did.” — John Fainter, Richards’ Chief of Staff

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“As a woman and minority, she made me feel that I could walk through the halls of the Texas Capitol and feel like I belonged there.” — Roxanne Evans, Richards’ deputy press secretary from 1994 to 1995.

The family requests that memorial gifts be made to the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders through the Austin Community Foundation, P.O. Box 5159, Austin, Texas 78763, 512-472-4483, or by email: www.austincommunityfoundation.org. Quotes assembled from a variety of press sources including the Associated Press, Austin American-Statesman, Houston Chronicle, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, CBS News and the Dallas Morning News.

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