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Former Georgia Governor Ernest Vandiver Dies at Age 86

Tuesday, February 22, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATLANTA , GA – The Governor's Office is sad to announce that former Georgia Governor Ernest Vandiver, 86, died yesterday evening at approximately 8:45 p.m. after a long illness.  He passed away peacefully at his home in Lavonia, Georgia.  Governor Sonny Perdue has issued the following statement:

“Governor Vandiver guided our state through the desegregation of the University of Georgia and Atlanta public schools, reformed state government through more efficient business practices and helped restore the people's trust in state government.  He made economic strides by developing tourism and expanding foreign trade and investment.  Along with Betty, his wife of 57 years, he made significant improvements to Georgia's mental health system. 

“Governor Vandiver will be remembered as an honest and conscientious leader and for his strong commitment to public service, which he passed on to all of his children, including his youngest daughter State Representative Jane Kidd. 

“On behalf of the people of Georgia, Mary and I offer our prayers and condolences to his family and friends.”

Governor Vandiver is survived by his wife, Betty, and three children – Samuel Ernest “Chip” Vandiver III, Vanna Elizabeth Vandiver and Jane Vandiver Kidd.  He is also survived by four grandchildren.

Governor Perdue is issuing an Executive Order directing all state flags lowered to half-staff for a period of mourning lasting until sunset on the day of Governor Vandiver's funeral. 

Funeral arrangements, including plans for lying-in-state at the Capitol, will be released by the Governor's Office later today.