Bill Scranton dies at 96, distinguished former governor of Pa.

 In this July 5, 1964, image, then-Pennsylvania Gov. William Scranton Jr. speaks to hometown well-wishers at the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Airport in Scranton, Pa. Scranton, also a presidential candidate and ambassador to the United Nations, died Sunday, July 28, 2013. He was 96. (AP Photo, File)

In this July 5, 1964, image, then-Pennsylvania Gov. William Scranton Jr. speaks to hometown well-wishers at the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Airport in Scranton, Pa. Scranton, also a presidential candidate and ambassador to the United Nations, died Sunday, July 28, 2013. He was 96. (AP Photo, File)

Governor Corbett has ordered all Pennsylvania flags lowered to half-staff in honor of former Governor Bill Scranton who died last night at the age of 96.

Republicans and Democrats alike are remembering the late governor as a distinguished leader and statesman.  Franklin and Marshall College political science professor Terry Madonna says Scranton was a moderate Republican, elected after the Democrats earned their first voter registration advantage in state history.

“He came to office with a couple of broad goals in mind.  One had to do with education.  He realized the importance of education, and under his tutelage we have the creation, in the formative stages, of what would be the community college system.”

Governor Scranton was also responsible for creating the state Board of Education and Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.  He served one term in office from 1963 – 1967.  That was before governors in Pennsylvania could seek a second term.  

After leaving office, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and led the President’s Commission on Campus Unrest which was formed in the wake of the Kent State shootings in 1970.

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