Former OR Governor Vic Atiyeh dies at the age of 91 - KPTV - FOX 12

Former OR Governor Vic Atiyeh dies at the age of 91

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Former Oregon Gov. Vic Atiyeh has died at the age of 91.

Denny Miles, the Atiyeh family spokesperson, says he died at 8:15 p.m. Sunday, surrounded by family at Portland's Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.

Miles said Atiyeh passed away from complications of renal failure. He says the former governor had returned to the hospital Saturday due to shortness of breath and possible internal bleeding.

Atiyeh was a Republican governor from 1979 to 1987 and helped the state through a deep recession in the early 80s.

According to Miles, Atiyeh fell at his home on July 5 sustaining rib injuries. That day was the Atiyehs 70th wedding anniversary. He was treated and released from the hospital. He returned to the hospital July 15 for additional treatment and was released the next day.

When Atiyeh returned to the hospital this Saturday, doctors said it was for treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding, which may not be associated with the earlier fall. At the time, gastroenterologist Dr. Brent Lee said, "It is premature to say what is causing this bleeding, including his earlier fall."

Atiyeh served two terms as governor. After leaving office in 1987, he led an active life as an international trade consultant, going to work at his downtown Portland office daily. It was only within the last few months that he closed this office. He was generally in good health, but he did suffer a mild heart attack on Aug. 30, 2005 followed by quadruple bypass surgery.

Gov. John Kitzhaber released a statement late Sunday night mourning the loss of Atiyeh:

"I am deeply saddened by the passing of Governor Vic Atiyeh - a great Oregonian, an historic governor, and a remarkable human being. He was the first governor under whom I served when I was first elected to the Legislature in 1978, and he was both a mentor and a friend. He led Oregon out of the recession of the early 1980s, with a strategy embraced by both parties, and went on to make international trade a cornerstone of Oregon's economy. He will be greatly missed, yet his steady leadership, gentle spirit, and love for our state lives on in the many contributions he made to Oregon."

House Republican Leader Mike McLane issued a statement upon learning of the passing of Atiyeh:

"It is with deep sadness that House Republicans have learned of the passing of Vic Atiyeh. He was the epitome of a public servant and gave so much to so many in Oregon. Governor Atiyeh was quick to encourage this generation to work together to solve Oregon's problems. He was our example. He will be missed by all of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with Governor Atiyeh's family."

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