George Victor Voinovich was an American politician who served as a United States senator from Ohio from 1999 to 2011, the 65th governor of Ohio from 1991 to 1998 and the 54th mayor of Cleveland from 1980 to 1989, the last Republican to serve in that office.
60 Facts About George Voinovich
George Voinovich is the only person to have served as both chairman of the National Governors Association and president of the National League of Cities.
George Voinovich's father was of Serbian descent, and his mother was of Slovenian ancestry.
George Voinovich grew up in the Collinwood neighborhood of Cleveland and graduated from Collinwood High School in 1954.
George Voinovich was raised Catholic and was a lifelong member of his neighborhood parish, Our Lady of the Lake in Euclid.
George Voinovich earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in government in 1958 from Ohio University, where he was a member of the fraternity Phi Kappa Tau and served as president of the student body and the men's dormitory system.
George Voinovich received a law degree in 1961 from the Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University.
George Voinovich began his political career in 1963 as an Assistant Attorney General of Ohio.
George Voinovich then served as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1967 until 1971.
From 1977 to 1978, George Voinovich served as a member of the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners.
George Voinovich was the first Ohio lieutenant governor not to be elected separately from the governor.
George Voinovich remained lieutenant governor until he won the election.
The biggest surprise was George Voinovich's showing in predominantly African American wards, where he was expected to finish last.
George Voinovich won the election with 94,541 votes to Kucinich's 73,755.
George Voinovich was considered shy and a rather low-key politician, a description he adopted himself.
George Voinovich negotiated a debt repayment schedule and in October 1980, with the state serving as guarantor, eight local banks lent Cleveland $36.2 million, allowing the city to emerge from default.
George Voinovich said he would resubmit the tax issue on the February ballot to avoid facing a deficit in 1981.
Sportscaster Howard Cosell hailed the city during a baseball game, and George Voinovich subsequently presented him with a key to the city.
George Voinovich offered a referendum to voters to extend them from two to four years and asked voters to approve cutting the number of council members from 33 to 21 to help ease the city's strained economy.
George Voinovich quietly moved to reconcile the warring groups of the 1970s.
George Voinovich extended his hand to unions, in particular the Teamsters.
George Voinovich asserted that the company was making attempts to cripple Muni Light by lobbying council against much-needed legislation.
In 1988, George Voinovich ran for the Senate seat of Howard Metzenbaum, in a hard-fought and negative campaign.
George Voinovich accused Metzenbaum of being soft on child pornography, charges that were roundly criticized by many, including John Glenn who recorded a statement for television refuting George Voinovich's charges.
In 1990, Voinovich was nominated by the Republicans to replace Governor Richard F Celeste, a Democrat who was barred from running for a third consecutive term.
In 1991 George Voinovich served as the Chairman of the Midwestern Governors Association.
Under George Voinovich, Ohio was ranked No 1 in the nation by Site Selection Magazine for new and expanding business facilities.
In 1995 George Voinovich was named Public Official of the Year by the National Journal.
George Voinovich is credited with leading efforts to create a public voucher plan that used public funds to pay tuition at church-affiliated schools.
In 1996, Voinovich was the first governor to endorse US Senator Robert J Dole's bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
Later, George Voinovich was among nine candidates asked to submit to background checks as potential vice-presidential running mates for Dole.
George Voinovich withdrew his name from consideration, reiterating his desire to run for the US Senate in 1998.
In 1998, barred by term limits from running for a third term as governor, George Voinovich ran for the US Senate seat being vacated by longtime incumbent Democrat John Glenn.
George Voinovich won the election over Democratic nominee Mary O Boyle.
George Voinovich was briefly succeeded by Nancy Hollister upon his resignation as governor and before he entered the Senate.
George Voinovich frequently joined Democrats on tax issues and in 2000 was the only Republican in Congress to vote against a bill providing for relief from the "marriage penalty".
In November 2004, in his bid for reelection, Voinovich defeated the Democratic nominee, Ohio state senator and former US Representative Eric D Fingerhut.
Democrats refused to invoke cloture and end debate on the nomination; the first time, George Voinovich voted to end debate, but the second time he joined Democrats in voting to extend debate and urged Bush to choose another nominee.
Five months later, George Voinovich wrote Bush a five-page letter requesting that the US begin pulling troops from Iraq and that the Iraqis start taking care of their own territory, calling for a "comprehensive plan for our country's gradual military disengagement from Iraq".
When Michigan became the eighth state to accede to the Great Lakes Compact on July 9,2008, George Voinovich was one of the leading legislators in supporting the interstate compact's passage in Congress.
On January 20,2009, George Voinovich was appointed to the Appropriations Committee.
George Voinovich's appointment marked the first time an Ohioan served on the coveted Senate committee since Mike DeWine lost his 2006 reelection bid.
On July 22,2009, George Voinovich opposed a measure that would have allowed people to cross state lines with concealed weapons.
From June 25,2007 to January 3,2009, George Voinovich sat at what is traditionally known as the Senate's "candy desk".
On December 18,2010, George Voinovich voted in favor of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010.
In January 2010, George Voinovich met with President Obama to discuss the urgency of the nation's fiscal crisis.
George Voinovich played a leadership role in strengthening and enlarging the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and was the only member of Congress in the room at the 2002 NATO summit in Prague, where membership was formally extended to Latvia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
George Voinovich was an active participant in the annual Brussels Forum from its inception in 2007, and served as chairman of the US congressional delegation to the conference in 2010.
George Voinovich authored the National Infrastructure Improvement Act, which established a commission to provide concrete recommendations for current and future infrastructure needs.
George Voinovich was the main sponsor of five-year reauthorizations of the Appalachian Regional Commission in 2002 and 2008, which fostered economic development in the 13 Appalachian states and in Ohio's 29 Appalachian counties.
George Voinovich long championed the need for a "Second Declaration of Independence", referring to the nation's energy situation.
George Voinovich supported clean air legislation and argued for nuclear-energy development because it "provides a dependable, continuous stream of electricity, supports thousands of jobs, and does not emit any greenhouse gases".
George Voinovich served as Chairman and ranking member of the EPW Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee, introducing legislation that helped to pave the way for applications for new nuclear power plants in the US.
George Voinovich sponsored legislation aimed to protect the Great Lakes from foreign species and preserve "our ultimate jewels, the five Great Lakes".
George Voinovich lobbied his colleagues in the Senate as well as Great Lakes governors and administration officials to take real action.
Since being honored in 1998, George Voinovich remained committed to the success of the school.
On June 10,2016, two days before his death, George Voinovich delivered public remarks at the 25th Slovenian Independence Day event at Cleveland City Hall.
George Voinovich was to be a delegate to the July 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
George Voinovich died at his home in Cleveland on June 12,2016, at the age of 79.
George Voinovich has never been afraid to work across the aisle, and has never forgotten that tax money comes from the wallets of hard-working people.