Former Texas Governor Mark White, who was known for education reform but also a controversial tax increase, has died at the age of 77.
What was his cause of death?
According to The Houston Chronicle, White died of a heart attack at his home on August 5.
White served as the governor of Texas for four years in the 1980s, from 1983 to 1987 and, reports the Chronicle, he was mostly known for his tenure for championing education reforms. He also served as Texas’ secretary of state and attorney general during his political career.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott confirmed the death of White. Abbott wrote on Twitter, referencing White’s wife, “I just spoke with Linda Gale White to express our sorrow for the passing of a great Texan & long time friend #txlege.”
White served as the 43rd governor of Texas.
According to ABC13, White was a Democrat who “was born in Henderson on March 17, 1940. He graduated with a business degree from Baylor University and later earned a law degree from Baylor Law School.”
He became governor after defeating the incumbent, then-Governor Bill Clements.
“The education policies approved during his single term included pay raises and competency tests for teachers, class size limits for elementary schools and the state’s high school basic skills graduation test,” ABC13 reported of White’s legacy as governor.
According to Click 2 Houston, Clements came back to defeat White in a grudge match after an unpopular tax hike.
“White also pushed through a $4 billion tax hike to help pay for schools and highways. The no-pass, no-play legislation was an unpopular move that had to survive a challenge at the state Supreme Court,” reported Click 2 Houston.
Gov. Abbott also released a statement on White’s Death. It read :
Mark White cared deeply about Texas, and he devoted his life to making our state even better, particularly when it came to educating our children. My personal relationship and friendship with Governor White dates to when I was a young lawyer in Houston and we shared an elevator bank.
“Mark’s impact on Texas will not soon be forgotten, and his legacy will live on through all that he achieved as Governor. Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences to Linda Gale White and family during this difficult time, and I ask that all Texans join us in praying for the White family as they mourn the passing of a devoted husband, father and public servant.”
According to the Texas State Library, White “ran for governor in the Democratic primary in 1990 but lost to Ann Richards. Today, he is an attorney and president of GeoVox Security, Inc. He serves on the board of trustees for Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene.”
The site added of White’s gubernatorial tenure, “During his term in office, White focused his energies on education reform (including no-pass/no-play) and utility rate regulation. White also concentrated on economic development and the appointment of minorities to positions on his staff and in the government. Texas’ Sesquicentennial occurred in 1986, and the Governor attended and hosted a number of events. The Goddess of Liberty was restored and planning for Capitol restoration began during White’s term in office.”