W. Straub served as Oregon's governor from
January 13, 1975 to Jan.
Governor Straub began his political career
in 1954 as a member of the Lane County Board of Commissioners.
Later he served as a state senator from Lane County from 1959
to 1963. Soon after he was elected to the Oregon State Senate,
Straub became identified as an enthusiastic proponent of natural
resource management and conservation. Straub had voiced his
concern about increases in air and water pollution early in
his political career. He was well known for his favorable
stance on the Oregon Beach Bill, defining Oregon beaches as
public domain, and the Willamette Greenway Plan, making the
Willamette River accessible to the public while making the
river as pollution free as possible. Both of these bills were
considered to be landmark environmental packages. Straub's
anti-pollution legislation added to his reputation as a supporter
of a green Oregon.
Straub was elected state treasurer in 1964 and served two
terms. During his tenure as state treasurer, Straub earned
a reputation of being fiscally conservative. Straub became
governor in 1975, winning by the largest margin ever recorded
in an Oregon gubernatorial election.
Governor Straub was instrumental in increasing
direct property tax relief, utility rate relief for senior
citizens, and strengthening land use laws and energy laws.
Straub reorganized the Department of Human Resources to improve
management of the wide variety of social and health services
in the State and appointed more women, handicapped, and minorities
to head state agencies and division than any previous Oregon
governor. Basic school support was increased and rehabilitation
and employment of the handicapped was expanded during his
administration. To diversify and expand Oregon's economy Straub
successfully recruited nonpolluting,
labor intensive industries.
Straub was born in San Francisco, California
on May 6, 1920. He earned both his Bachelor of Arts and Master
of Science degrees in Business Administration at Dartmouth
College. Straub and his wife Pat were married in 1944 and
had five children. After an unsuccessful bid in 1978 for a
second term as Oregon governor, he retired from public service
and lived in Salem, Oregon.
In the late-1990s,
Straub publicly announced his Alzheimer's Disease diagnosis
in order to raise awareness of the disease. He died on November
27, 2002 in Springfield, Oregon from complications related
to Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 82.p
Other biographical information
is available from the Oregon
State Archives and Oregon
passed by the 72nd Legislative Assembly upon the passing of