Former Iowa Gov. Robert Ray, 89, is remembered for ‘civility, courage and common-sense governing’

Former Iowa Gov. Robert Ray, 89, is remembered for ‘civility, courage and common-sense governing’
Former Iowa Gov. Robert Ray speaks during a celebration of World Refugee Day in June 2003 in Des Moines. Ray initiated Iowa's first major effort to welcome Laotian refugees fleeing from communism after the Vietnam War. (World-Herald News Service)

Former Iowa Gov. Robert D. Ray has died.

Ray, 89, served five terms as governor of Iowa, from 1969 to the start of 1983.

In a statement Sunday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds praised Ray’s leadership.

“Governor Ray’s legacy lives on in the millions of people that he impacted as a tremendous statesman for Iowa and our nation,” she said. “His civility, courage and common-sense governing set a high standard for those who followed.”

His tenure was marked by several high-profile issues, including his commitment to resettling Southeast Asian refugees who were displaced by wars in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and other parts of the region.

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