(TRAVERSE CITY) – Former Michigan Governor William Milliken has died at the age of 97.
According to WWMT, a family spokesman says Milliken died Friday at his home in Traverse City.
Milliken was Michigan's longest serving Governor, holding the position for 14 years until 1983. A moderate Republican, Milliken's style of bipartisan cooperation made him popular among voters and politicians in both parties.
He was born in Traverse City and attended Yale University, but left to enlist in the Army Reserve Corps. In 1943 he volunteered for the Army Air Corps and a year later was sent overseas.
In 1947, Milliken was appointed to the Michigan Waterways Commission by Governor Kim Sigler. Then in 1960 he was elected to the State Senate and eventually became the Senate Majority Floor Leader. In 1966 he was elected Lieutenant Governor and then became Governor in 1969 when George Romney left the office to become a member of President Richard Nixon's staff. He would be elected to two more terms before retiring from politics in 1983.
Milliken's priorities included civil rights, protecting the environment, and helping Detroit as the city struggled with population loss and problems in the auto industry. In 1972 he signed legislation creating the Michigan Lottery.
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