Robert D. Ray

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Robert D. Ray, a respected, prominent and successful Iowa trial lawyer, political, business and civic leader, has made a lasting difference in the lives of Iowans. At the turn of the century he was named the “Most Influential Iowan.” Best known for the 14 years (1969-1983) that he served as governor, Robert D. Ray led by example and shaped the public’s perception of what a governor should be. He brought outstanding organizational, management and leadership skills to state government that improved the quality of life for Iowans during his unprecedented five terms as governor...

"Ray was chair of the Republican Party in Iowa and the National Association Republicans chairman. He was chair of the Republican Governor, chair of the Midwest Governors and chair of the National Governors Assocaition. He also chaired the Education Commission of the States...

"In the late 1970’s Ray took a leader’s role worldwide in the re-settlement of refugees fleeing Cambodia and Thailand. In 1979, 3500 refugees, mostly Tai Dam refugees, called Iowa home. Iowa became a leader in taking refugees from Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Bob Ray took a courageous stand in doing what he knew was right – helping people relocate, find jobs and start new lives in Iowa. Over $500,000 was raised for SHARES (Send Help to Aid Refugees and End Starvation)." [1]

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  1. Robert D. Ray, Kuni Public Radio, accessed August 17, 2008.