Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter has died

Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter has died
Former Gov. William Winter, who pushed to strengthen public education and improve race relations, has died. (Source: Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter died Friday, He was 97.

Winter, who served as governor from 1980-84, was known as the “Education Governor” for his staunch support of education reform in the state. In 1982, legislation passed bringing kindergarten and compulsory school attendance to Mississippi for the first time.

Notice of his death first appeared in “Mississippi Today.”

Over a 75-year career in public service, Winter held a variety of positions, including state representative; state tax collector; state treasurer; lieutenant governor; and governor.

Winter is survived by his wife of 70 years, Elise Varner Winter; three daughters, Anne Winter, Lele Gillespie and Eleanor Winter; five grandchildren, Dr. Winter Williams, Dr. Zach Williams, Ty Gillespie, Caroline Gillespie and Grace Gillespie; and five great grandchildren.

Winter was preceded in death by his father, William Aylmer Winter, who served in the Mississippi Legislature, and Inez Parker Winter, a Grenada County school teacher.

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