Hardy Myers, former AG and House speaker, dies

Hardy Myers, a former speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives and a long-serving attorney general has died. He was 77.

He died from complications of pneumonia and had been fighting lung cancer, his son, Chris Myers, told The Oregonian. He leaves behind his wife of 54 years, Mary Ann, three sons and 10 grandchildren.

Myers was a giant in Oregon politics. He served five terms in the state House and was its speaker from 1979 to 1982. He was elected attorney general in 1996 and re-elected twice.

Myers' accomplishments include arguing successfully before the Supreme Court in defense of Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law. He led litigation against tobacco companies that resulted in large annual payments to the state. He became an expert in school safety law following the Thurston High School massacre.

Gov. Kate Brown released a statement Wednesday lauding Myers as a man of "unquestionable integrity and commitment to the rule of law."

"Brilliant, thoughtful, and infinitely kind, I will miss my dear friend Hardy," she said.

Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, said in a statement that Myers' death has broken his heart.

"He taught me everything. He taught me to respect the institution," Courtney said. "He was a wonderful gentleman. He was a genuinely nice human being. This is really tough on me."

Send questions, comments or news tips to gfriedman2@statesmanjournal.com or 503-399-6653. Follow on Twitter @GordonRFriedman.


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