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Feisty politician Ann Richards came to national attention as a keynote speaker in the 1988 Democratic National Convention and later as governor of Texas.
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She offered advice and counsel to other Democratic politicians. Richards also worked as an adviser and a consultant. Recently she had involved with the creation of the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin. Employing techniques especially tailored for female students with an emphasis on leadership skills, the school will open in 2007.
Battling esophageal cancer for six months, Ann Richards died from complications of the disease on September 13, 2006, in Austin, Texas. She was survived by her four children from her marriage to David Richards and eight grandchildren. Shortly after her death, former president Bill Clinton escorted her casket to the Capitol where thousands came to pay their last respects to one of the greatest politicians in Texas history. Others, such as actress Lily Tomlin and newspaper columnist Liz Smith, spoke at her funeral and at her public memorial service.
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