Ann Richards, the sharp-tongued trailblazer from Texas, died on Wednesday at the age of 73. Though she served only one term as governor, Richards left her mark on Texas and the nation. Known for a keen wit, Richards also accomplished an unprecedented promotion of minorities and women to positions of influence.
AP (via Yahoo!):
Richards rose to the governorship with a come-from-behind victory over millionaire cowboy Clayton Williams in 1990. She cracked a half-century male grip on the governor’s mansion and celebrated by holding up a T-shirt that showed the state Capitol and read: “A woman’s place is in the dome.”
In four years as governor, Richards championed what she called the “New Texas,” appointing more women and more minorities to state posts than any of her predecessors.
She appointed the first black University of Texas regent; the first crime victim to join the state Criminal Justice Board; the first disabled person to serve on the human services board; and the first teacher to lead the State Board of Education. Under Richards, the fabled Texas Rangers pinned stars on their first black and female officers.