published Monday, April 4th, 2011

McWherter, former governor, House speaker, dies

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    In this file photo, former Tennessee Gov. Ned McWherter campaigns for then-candidate Phil Bredesen at the TriCities Airport in Blountville, Tenn., Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2002. (AP Photo/ Earl Neikirk)

By JOE EDWARDS, Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ned McWherter, a one-time factory worker who became a millionaire businessman, speaker of the state House and then a two-term Democratic governor, has died at the age 80.

His administrative assistant, Madelyn Pritchett, says McWherter of Dresden died Monday at a Nashville hospital where he was being treated for cancer.

McWherter was governor from 1987 to 1995, following 20 years in the Legislature, 14 of them leading the House. He also was a political adviser to Bill Clinton during his presidency.

A child of sharecroppers, McWherter became a millionaire through various business enterprises before he was elected governor.

As governor, he supported education improvements that put more computers and technology in classrooms, increased teacher’s pay, shrank class sizes and gave local school boards more control.

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woody said...

Speaking as an 'adopted' Tennessean "Ned Ray" was likely the best thing to happen to this state since Cordell Hull. I can't imagine where Tennessee would be today without his leadership.

I'm sure, today as always..just give him a couple of vanilla wafers, a cup of coffee and he'll be ready to get to work.

Woody

April 5, 2011 at 7:08 a.m.
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