PORTLAND, Ore. -- Dave Frohnmayer, a widely respected leader in Oregon politics and academics, has died at 74.
A statement from the family said Frohnmayer died Monday night after “a quiet battle” for five years against prostate cancer.
Frohnmayer, a Republican, was a former attorney general, president of the University of Oregon and candidate for governor.
He served in the Legislature before he was elected attorney general in 1980, a job he held through three terms.
He ran for governor in 1990 but lost in a three-way race to Democrat Barbara Roberts.
Frohnmayer represented an old-school strain of Republican politics in Oregon, marked by moderation and liberalism in figures such as Tom McCall and Mark Hatfield that has been eclipsed in an era of sharper partisan differences.
“A giant has fallen,” said longtime friend and law partner Bill Gray. “And Oregon and her citizens have lost a champion and we’re all diminished by that.”
After his career in elective office, he went to the University of Oregon, where he served as dean of the law school and then, for 15 years, as president of the school.
Frohnmayer’s tenure at the university was in marked contrast to the turnover of the years since – two presidents who served only two years each, with interim leaders filling in.
Tributes to Frohnmayer came from both the world of politics and academics.
House Republican Leader Mike McLane cited Frohnmayer’s “vast contributions to the state of Oregon” and said he would have a “legacy as a faithful public servant and advocate for the state and its people.”
Scott Coltrane, the university’s current interim president, said Frohnmayer had been a friend, colleague and adviser. He cited Frohnmayer’s ability to “bring people together and build successful partnerships.”
His family said he had been determined to keep his illness private, and “he was able to accomplish this and continue a full public schedule to the end.”