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Government & Politics

Former Ohio Gov. George Voinovich Dies at 79

photo of George Voinovich

The former Ohio governor and senator and mayor of Cleveland, George Voinovich, has died at the age of 79.

Voinovich was born and raised in Cleveland  and is credited with the restoring the city's finances in the 1980s, after it defaulted under his mayoral predecessor, Dennis Kucinich.  He was elected governor in 1990, and then to the Senate in 1998, succeeding John Glenn.

Voinovich was still active in public life and spoke at Cleveland’s Slovenian Independence Day on Friday, an event organized by Dan Hanson of the Cleveland Speakers’ Bureau.

“He spoke very well and powerfully.  He was passionate; I don’t even know if he’s ever used a teleprompter in his life.  He could just speak because he spoke from the heart.”

Voinovich, a moderate Republican, was instrumental in creating the Great Lakes Compact as well as bringing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Cleveland.

He retired from the Senate in 2010 after two terms, and lived in Cleveland until his death.