Fmr. Mississippi Governor William Winter dies at age 97

William Winter
William Winter(WLBT Archives)
Updated: Dec. 19, 2020 at 9:51 AM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Former Mississippi Governor William Winter died Friday at the age of 97, the Associated Press reported.

Winter was Mississippi’s 58th governor from 1980-1984.

He is known for the Education Reform Act of 1982, which is considered the most significant educational legislation enacted in Mississippi since the establishment of its public school system in 1870.

Winter also led the Mississippi Department of Archives and History Board of Trustees for nearly fifty years.

He joined the board in 1957, was elected president in 1969, and served in that role until 2007. During that time, he oversaw the opening of the Eudora Welty House, the restoration of the Old Capitol, and the construction of a state-of-the-art archives building that the state legislature named for him.

MDAH says Winter’s greatest legacy was the opening of the Two Mississippi Museums in 2017. The organization said he helped convince state leaders of the need to build the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, and he was instrumental in securing public and private funds for the project.

Reuben V. Anderson, president of the MDAH Board of Trustees, recalled, “With his encouragement, MDAH strengthened its focus on African American history in Mississippi, acquiring significant collections of papers, mounting award-winning exhibits, and offering grants for the preservation of sites associated with African American history. Most notably, his close friendship with Myrlie Evers led to her decision to donate the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Collection to MDAH in 2002.”

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