Texas officials, friends react to Gov. Mark White’s death

Former Texas Gov. Mark White, who died Saturday at 77, touched many throughout the state. Here are some of the reactions to White’s death from prominent Texans and those who knew him:

Gov. Greg Abbott

“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.”

OBITUARY: Mark White, 77, one of last Democratic governors before modern GOP era

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick

“Governor White leaves a legacy of service and commitment to the state of Texas. He gave up time away from his family and his career to make the Lone Star State a better place. I met Mark White in the early 1990s at his office and knew him to be a Texas gentleman. We pray for his family during this time of loss.”

Former President George H.W. Bush

“Barbara and I join our fellow Texans on both sides of the political aisle in mourning the loss of a good man and an equally good governor, Mark White. His tenure as governor came during the stormy economic times of the early to mid-1980s, which led Mark to do two things that are an everlasting credit to his rich legacy – he laid the groundwork for diversification of the Texas economy, and he made significant investments in improving education in our great state. But more than that, he was a friend, and we naturally join in sending our most sincere condolences to Linda and his family.”

Baylor University President Linda A. Livingstone

“As a Baylor undergraduate and law school student, Gov. White said his life was shaped by the many excellent faculty members at Baylor who inspired him to a career as a successful attorney and tireless public servant.”

“He loved and supported his alma mater, and he loved serving the state of Texas, for which he left a lasting legacy, especially in his support of education.”

“The deepest thoughts and prayers of our entire Baylor Family are with his wife, Linda, B.B.A. ‘64, and children as they mourn the loss of a great husband, father and Texan in Gov. White.”

Former Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby

“Mark White was one of Texas’ greatest governors. We were close friends for many years. Texas and Linda Gail will miss him.”

“HB 72, (no pass, no play) was the greatest piece of education legislation passed in many years.”

PHOTOS: Former Texas Gov. Mark White through the years

Rep. Garnet F. Coleman, D-Houston

“Governor Mark White was a prime example of Texas leadership based on statesmanship, democratic ideals, and good government. He was a person who believed that government had value and that government could make Texas better.”

“I had the honor of being around him, getting to know him, and learning from him through his service on the advisory board to the Hobby Center for Public Policy at the University of Houston and our work to create the William P. Hobby Jr. School of Public Affairs.”

“His impact on Texans will not be forgotten. If there were more statesmen like Governor Mark White in Texas government today, we would all be better off. My sincere sympathies to Mrs. Linda Gale White, the White family, and friends.”

Jim Harrington, Founder and Director Emeritus of the Texas Civil Rights Project

“I had the pleasure of working with Gov. Mark White in getting workers’ comp passed for farm workers. He even called a special session the day after the regular session when Sen. Bill Sarpalius killed the bill in 1983 by filibuster after the House had passed it. Amazing. And I was in the room with him when he beat down the Farm Bureau for later opposing compromise legislation. It was awesome. I met him a couple of years ago at a Texas Civil Rights Project reception with Congressman Joe Kennedy, and he enjoyed reliving the dress-down.”

“We eventually succeeded, thanks to Gov. White. He made a huge difference in the lives of farm workers, Texas’ poorest of the poor.”

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