Dick Lamm, former 3-term Colorado governor, dies at 85

By: - July 30, 2021 12:48 pm

The Colorado Capitol dome is pictured on June 11, 2020. (Andy Bosselman for Colorado Newsline)

Richard D. Lamm, a former three-term governor of Colorado, died at 85 on Thursday, according to a statement from his wife, former Colorado First Lady Dottie Lamm.

Dick Lamm, as he was best known, died surrounded by family members following complications from a pulmonary embolism earlier this week, the statement said. He would have turned 86 on Tuesday.

Lamm was first elected governor in 1974 and was reelected in 1978 and 1982. He is among the state’s longest-serving governors.

Born in Madison, Wisconsin, he had previously served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army and worked in private practice as an attorney. He was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives, where he served from 1966 to 1974.


The Democrat’s political identity was notoriously difficult to categorize. He was an environmentalist, co-sponsored the Colorado Open Records Act and was at the vanguard of liberalizing abortion laws. On the other hand, Lamm later in life became known for extreme views on race and immigration. As governor, he famously fought successfully to keep the Olympics out of Colorado.

Colorado’s current governor, Jared Polis, ordered flags lowered at state buildings in honor of Lamm.

“Gov. Lamm took on tough issues, and he never shied away from civil political discourse and embraced collaboration,” Polis said in a statement. “Gov. Lamm’s legacy and leadership will be remembered in our state’s history as well as his work to make Colorado an even more amazing place.”

Details on services for Lamm are pending.


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