(Phoenix, Ariz. - Feb. 1, 2006) Samuel Pearson Goddard, Jr., who served as Arizona's 12th governor from 1965 to 1967, died this morning in Phoenix following a long illness. He was 86.
Goddard was born in Clayton, Mo., in 1919. He graduated from Harvard University in 1941 with a degree in history. Following graduation, Goddard enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was commissioned an officer in 1942. He served as an operations and communications officer in Europe and the Pacific during World War II. Goddard continued to serve in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, retiring with the rank of colonel.
Goddard and his wife, Judy, settled after the war in Tucson, where he graduated from law school at the University of Arizona. After establishing his law practice, Goddard entered the political arena in 1959 and was elected chair of the Arizona Democratic Party in 1960. He was elected governor in 1964.
As governor, he pushed for major improvements in state management, including the first budget office in Arizona history. He set up new state commissions, including the Arizona Commission on Arts and Humanities, the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women, the Arizona State Manpower Advisory Committee, the Advisory Council on Aging, the Governor's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, and the Governor's Commission on Arizona Beauty. He testified before Congress in favor of the Central Arizona Project and worked with neighboring governors to gain CAP passage.
Following his term as governor, Goddard stayed active in politics, serving as the Arizona Democratic Party Chair from 1979 to 1990 and on the Democratic National Commitee for 20 years. He also was elected to represent Maricopa County on the Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board of Directors from 1987 to 1994.
"He excelled in so many areas," said his son, Attorney General Terry Goddard. "As governor, he brought professionalism and efficiency to state government. He loved Arizona passionately, and by plane, jeep and on foot, he covered almost every inch of it."
He was preceded in death by his wife, Judy. He is survived by his second wife, Myra Ann; three sons, Terry, Tim and Bill; and three grandchildren.
Funeral services are pending.
For more information, contact Andrea Esquer at (602) 542-8019.
Andrea M. Esquer Press Secretary, Attorney General's Office 602-542-8019 - 602-542-4085 (fax) 602-725-2200 (cell)