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William Winter, former Mississippi governor, dies at 97

By Mississippi Today

Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter, who championed education initiatives, job creation and racial harmony throughout his life, died Friday at age 97.

Known as Mississippi’s Education Governor, Winter secured passage of landmark educational initiatives in 1982 bringing kindergartens, compulsory school attendance, and a range of other key reforms to a state plagued by poverty and illiteracy. During his remarkable 75 years of public service, Winter linked education with economic development in the nation’s poorest state, observing, “The road out of the poor house runs past the schoolhouse.”

In remarks made in 2003, the historian David Halberstam called Winter “Mississippi’s best and strongest governor of modern times.” Halberstam went on to say, “Winter, more than any other politician, is the architect of the new Mississippi and the new America. By contrast, we are all too aware of politicians who can play to the darker side of our nature.”

Read the full story on Mississippi Today.

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