Former Governor, Senator Dead At 89

[Screenshot/YouTube/Arkansas PBS]

Fiona McLoughlin Contributor
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David Pryor, former Arkansas governor and U.S. senator, died Saturday at the age of 89, according to The Hill.

Pryor died of natural causes in Little Rock, Arkansas, the outlet reported. The former Democratic governor was known for his work on behalf of senior citizens, the outlet noted, specifically his investigations into nursing homes.

Pryor also helped create the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which was created to expand taxpayers’ rights during disputes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the outlet noted.

Pryor began his career in politics in 1960 in the Arkansas House of Representatives. He was later elected to Congress in 1966 and served in the House of Representatives until 1973, The Hill reported. He became the governor of Arkansas in 1975 and served two terms.

He was later elected into the Senate in 1979, where he served three terms until he announced his retirement in early 1997, the outlet noted. (RELATED: Former Governor, Congressman Joseph E. Brennan Dies At 89).

“David made politics personal — from his famed retail campaigning to his ability to calmly and confidently explain tough votes to his constituents,” former President Bill Clinton said in a statement. “He was honest, compassionate, and full of common sense. He really loved the people he represented, and they loved him back.”

“David Pryor’s charisma and moderate politics made him a force at the ballot box for decades. While the Senator and I came up in different political parties, I, like all Arkansans deeply appreciated his diligent stewardship of Arkansas and our interests during his time in public life,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the current governor of Arkansas, said on X, formerly Twitter.

“And we can all thank him for his role in burying the divisive racial politics that infected Arkansas government before his tenure,” she added.

“Whether a Republican, Democrat or Independent, David always had a welcome smile and plenty of conversation,” former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said on X.

“I was lucky to have known David for quite some time. Despite our political differences, he extended me the opportunity to intern in his office many years ago,” U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman said on X. “The intentional investments he made in my life, and that of many other Arkansans, have been instrumental in the growth of our great state.”

“David Pryor’s absence will be greatly felt by many, but his legacy of leadership will serve as an inspiration for years to come. I extend my deepest condolences to the Pryor family, and my prayers will be with his loved ones during this difficult time,” Westerman added.