Former Governor Robert D. Ray today (Monday) received the state’s highest citizen award. Robert Ray served five terms as Iowa’s governor, starting in 1969. He left office in 1983 for a job running an insurance company based in Cedar Rapids. Ray later became the chief executive of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Iowa. After his retirement from the insurance industry, Ray was asked to be the temporary leader of his alma mater, Drake University, while it searched for a new president. Then, after the death of the Mayor of Des Moines, he was asked to serve as interim mayor until an election could be held. Ray, a former chairman of the Iowa Republican Party, was on the short list of candidates President Gerald Ford considered as a running mate for the 1976 election. He also served briefly as the U.S. Representative to the United Nations. The Iowa Award Ray has just received honors his lifetime of public service. He’s currently co-chair of the National Coalition on Health care.
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