September 13, 2003 by

Frank O’Bannon

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Categories: Politicians

fobannon.jpgFrank O’Bannon, the governor of Indiana, died on Sept. 13 after suffering from a stroke. He was 73.
O’Bannon earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Indiana University, served two years as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, then returned to Bloomington to earn a law degree from IU in 1957. After college, he moved to Corydon, Ind., to open up his own law practice and to work at the family-owned newspaper, The Corydon Democrat.
In 1970, he was elected to his father’s seat in the Indiana Senate, and served for 18 years. During his tenure, O’Bannon spent two years as Senate finance chairman and 11 years as Democratic floor leader.
He originally ran for governor in 1987, but dropped out of the race when Evan Bayh decided to place his hat in the ring. Instead, O’Bannon became Bayh’s running mate, and when they won, he served as lieutenant governor for two terms. He ran unopposed when he sought the Democratic nomination for governor in 1996, and eventually beat Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith in a close election. He was reelected in 2000.
When he was not governing the state of Indiana, O’Bannon was the chairman of O’Bannon Publishing Company.

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