FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine (AP) - John H. Reed, a Fort Fairfield native who served as Maine governor from 1959 to 1966, has died at 91.
The Giberson-Dorsey Funeral Home in Fort Fairfield confirms Reed died Wednesday in a Washington hospital.
Gov. Paul LePage issued the following statement:
"Maine has lost a great man with the passing of Governor John Reed. The First Lady and I send our thoughts and prayers to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.
In 1959, with the unexpected death of Governor Clauson, Reed, then Senate President, became Maine's Governor. He led our State well and served the people of Maine honorably.
Having the opportunity to have met him, I know he was a kind man, dedicated Navy veteran, and passionate about public service. It is a sad day for Maine as we have lost a man who contributed so much to our great State."
While governor, the Republican was instrumental in starting educational television in Maine and oversaw creation of a network of University of Maine colleges. The Bangor Daily News says Reed also pushed to combine school districts to save money.
While serving as state Senate president, Reed became governor in September 1959 upon the death of Clinton Clauson. The following year Reed defeated Democrat Frank Coffin to serve Clauson's term. He won Maine's first four-year term as governor in 1962.
Reed served on the National Transportation Safety Board and as U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka.
The video in this story is from a profile of Gov. Reed from a 2003 episode of Bill Green's Maine.
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