Ark. claims first blind governor | Arkansas Blog

Ark. claims first blind governor



The elevation of New York Lt. Gov. David Paterson gave rise to press reports that he was the country's first blind governor. Not so. That distinction goes to Arkansas.


The corrections have been numerous, but a New York Times blog dug deeply into the story of the first legally blind governor, Arkansas's Bob Riley, who served 11 days as governor in 1975 when Dale Bumpers left office early to get an edge on seniority in his new U.S. Senate seat. Riley, who lost his sight as a result of World War II combat, is memorialized by a portrait (pictured) that hangs in the governor's conference room the first floor at the Capitol. He's wearing his characteristic black eye patch.

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