Iowans Remember Governor Robert D. Ray

HE WAS THE IOWA GOVERNOR WHO AGREED TO ACCEPT OVER A MILLION REFUGEES INTO THE STATE OF IOWA FROM SOUTHEAST ASIA.  ROBERT D. RAY PASSED AWAY SUNDAY AT THE AGE OF 89.  

RAY WAS FIRST ELECTED IN 1968, AND USED A SONG BY DES MOINES NATIVE MARILYN MAYE, "STEP TO THE REAR" AS HIS CAMPAIGN THEME SONG.  

RAY WAS FIRST ELECTED IN 1968 AS GOVERNOR FOR TWO YEARS, AND AGAIN IN 1970 AND 1972.  DURING THAT TIME, THE STATE CONSTITUTION WAS CHANGED TO GIVE THE GOVERNOR A FOUR-YEAR TERM.  RAY WAS ELECTED IN 1974 AND 1978 TO FOUR YEAR TERMS. RAY DECIDED NOT TO RUN AGAIN, TAKING THE JOB AS PRESIDENT OF LIFE INVESTORS, LATER TO BE KNOWN AS AEGON IN CEDAR RAPIDS.  

RAY SERVED AS ACTING PRESIDENT OF DRAKE UNIVERSITY FOR OVER A YEAR AND THE CURRENT DRAKE PRESIDENT, MARTY MARTIN SAYS "GOVERNOR RAY HAD A TREMENDOUS IMPACT ON IOWA, THE UNITED STATES AND THE WORLD." 

US SENATOR CHARLES GRASSLEY SAYS HE MADE "IOWA A BETTER PLACE TO GROW, AND BUILD OUR STATE'S ECONOMY."  

GOVERNOR KIM REYNOLDS SAYS GOVERNOR RAY "LIVES ON IN THE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE THAT HE IMPACTED AS A TREMENDOUS STATESMAN FOR IOWA." 

RAY DIED OF NATURAL CAUSES, ACCORDING TO A STATEMENT FROM THE FAMILY.  FUNERAL SERVICES ARE PENDING.

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