Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter dies at 97

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter, a Democrat who pushed to strengthen public education and improve race relations, has died. He was 97. Winter was governor from 1980 to 1984.

Family spokesman Dick Molpus says Saturday that Winter died Friday night at home in Jackson. Molpus is a former Mississippi secretary of state who had worked on Winter’s gubernatorial staff.

As governor, Winter was best known for pushing Mississippi lawmakers to enact the Education Reform Act of 1982, which set quality standards.

Winter served in the 1990s as co-chairman a national commission on racial reconciliation created by President Bill Clinton.

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