I was 16 years old during the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta. And there are exactly two speakers at that convention who stood out in such a way that I never forget them nor their speeches. One of those two was JFK, Jr. And the other was Texas' legendary trailblazer, Gov. Ann Richards.
In her witty and charming way, she reminded us in a keynote speech that George H.W. Bush didn't have a silver spoon in his mouth, but a "silver foot."
Her time as Texas governor was important. Perhaps only a tough, motorcycle ridin' momma like Gov. Richards could stand up to the gun lobby in a state like Texas and lead the fight to make that state a safer place by banning certain types of weapons and "cop-killer bullets."
Married to a civil rights lawyer, minorities and women made progress during her time. She spoke like the average, every day Texan. And she remains a popular figure in Texas, earning praise from both major parties.
She died of cancer. But I feel sure cancer took a few licks from her too.
Here's an article on her death by AP's Kelley Shannon via Yahoo News.