Booth Gardner

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Booth Gardner
Booth Gardner.jpg
19th Governor of Washington
In office
January 16, 1985 January 13, 1993
Lieutenant John Cherberg
Joel Pritchard
Preceded by John Spellman
Succeeded by Mike Lowry
Chair of the National Governors Association
In office
July 31, 1990 August 20, 1991
Preceded by Terry Branstad
Succeeded by John Ashcroft
1st Executive of Pierce County
In office
May 1, 1981 December 31, 1984
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded by Joe Stortini
Personal details
Born(1936-08-21)August 21, 1936
Tacoma, Washington, U.S.
DiedMarch 15, 2013(2013-03-15) (aged 76)
Tacoma, Washington, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)Jean Gardner (Divorced)
Cynthia Gardner (Divorced)
Education University of Washington, Seattle (BA)
Harvard University (MBA)

Booth Gardner (August 21, 1936 – March 15, 2013) was an American politician who served as the 19th governor of the U.S. state of Washington between 1985 and 1993. He also served as the ambassador of the GATT. A Democrat, Gardner served in the Washington State Senate and was Pierce County Executive prior to his tenure as governor. His service was notable for advancing standards-based education and environmental protection.

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is a legal agreement between many countries, whose overall purpose was to promote international trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers such as tariffs or quotas. According to its preamble, its purpose was the "substantial reduction of tariffs and other trade barriers and the elimination of preferences, on a reciprocal and mutually advantageous basis."

Washington State Senate upper house of the Washington State Legislature

The Washington State Senate is the upper house of the Washington State Legislature. The body consists of 49 members, each representing a district with a population of nearly 140,000. The State Senate meets at the Legislative Building in Olympia.

Pierce County, Washington County in the United States

Pierce County is a county in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 795,225, making it the second-most populous county in Washington behind King County. The county seat and largest city is Tacoma. Formed out of Thurston County on December 22, 1852, by the legislature of Oregon Territory, it was named for U.S. President Franklin Pierce. Pierce County is in the Seattle metropolitan area.



Gardner was born in Tacoma, Washington on August 21, 1936. He attended Clover Park Junior High in Lakewood, Washington before graduating from Lakeside School in Seattle. [1] His parents divorced when he was very young; through his mother's remarriage he became an heir to the Weyerhaeuser fortune. His mother and his sister, his only sibling, died in a plane crash when he was 14. [2]

Tacoma, Washington City in Washington, United States

Tacoma is a mid-sized urban port city and the county seat of Pierce County, Washington, United States. The city is on Washington's Puget Sound, 32 miles (51 km) southwest of Seattle, 31 miles (50 km) northeast of the state capital, Olympia, and 58 miles (93 km) northwest of Mount Rainier National Park. The population was 198,397, according to the 2010 census. Tacoma is the second-largest city in the Puget Sound area and the third largest in the state. Tacoma also serves as the center of business activity for the South Sound region, which has a population of around 1 million.

Lakewood, Washington City in Washington, United States

Lakewood is a city in Pierce County, Washington, United States. The population was 58,163 at the 2010 census.

Lakeside School (Seattle) school in Haller Lake, Seattle

Lakeside School is a private/public school located in the Haller Lake neighborhood at the north city limits of Seattle, Washington for grades 5–12. Famous alumni include Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen. In 2018, school review website Niche ranked Lakeside School the best school in Washington state and the sixth best school in the United States.

Gardner was a graduate of the University of Washington and Harvard Business School. [3] His stepfather was Norton Clapp, one of the original owners of the Seattle Space Needle. In 1976, he owned the Tacoma Tides in its one year in the American Soccer League. In 1978, he co-owned the Colorado Caribous franchise in the NASL with Jim Guercio.

University of Washington public research university in Seattle, Washington, United States

The University of Washington is a public research university in Seattle, Washington.

Harvard Business School business school in Boston, Massachusetts

Harvard Business School (HBS) is the graduate business school of Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. The school offers a large full-time MBA program, doctoral programs, HBS Online and many executive education programs. It owns Harvard Business Publishing, which publishes business books, leadership articles, online management tools for corporate learning, case studies and the monthly Harvard Business Review. It is home to the Baker Library/Bloomberg Center.

Matthew Norton Clapp was a successful businessman, and eventually served as chairman of the Weyerhaeuser Corporation. He was active in civic service and a philanthropist.


In the 1984 Democratic primary for Washington state governor, Gardner defeated Jim McDermott. In the general election he unseated Republican incumbent, John Spellman. Gardner was easily elected to a second term in 1988. He chose not to seek a third term. [2]

Jim McDermott US Congressman

James Adelbert McDermott is an American politician who was the U.S. Representative for Washington's 7th congressional district from 1989 to 2017. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The 7th District includes most of Seattle, Vashon Island, Tukwila, Burien, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Woodway, and Edmonds. He served on the House Ways and Means Committee and was a member of the House Progressive Caucus. He was formerly the committee chairman, then in 1995, ranking minority member on the House Ethics Committee. On January 4, 2016, he announced that he would not be seeking another congressional term.

John Spellman US politician

John Dennis Spellman was an American politician who was the 18th Governor of Washington between 1981 and 1985 and the first King County Executive from 1969 to 1981.

While governor, Gardner signed into law a health care program that provided state medical insurance for the working poor. He helped develop land-use and growth-management policies that made Washington an early environmental leader, steered hundreds of millions of dollars of increased spending toward state universities, increased standardized testing in public education, and improved legal protections for gay people. [2]

The working poor are working people whose incomes fall below a given poverty line due to lack of work hours and/or low wages. Largely because they are earning such low wages, the working poor face numerous obstacles that make it difficult for many of them to find and keep a job, save up money, and maintain a sense of self-worth.

Later years

In 1994, one year after his retirement, Gardner was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. In 2006, he announced his support for assisted suicide. [4] In 2008, he filed and successfully spearheaded the campaign for Initiative 1000, Washington's Death With Dignity Act, which was closely modeled on Oregon's assisted dying law; [5] he remained involved in implementing the Act. [6] Gardner said that he supported going even further than the current Washington and Oregon laws, to eventually permit lethal prescriptions for people whose suffering is unbearable without the requirement that the sufferer have a terminal condition. [7]

Parkinsons disease long-term degenerative neurological disorder that mainly affects movement

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. As the disease worsens, non-motor symptoms become increasingly common. The symptoms generally come on slowly over time. Early in the disease, the most obvious are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking. Thinking and behavioral problems may also occur. Dementia becomes common in the advanced stages of the disease. Depression and anxiety are also common, occurring in more than a third of people with PD. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep, and emotional problems. The main motor symptoms are collectively called "parkinsonism", or a "parkinsonian syndrome".

Assisted suicide is suicide undertaken with the aid of another person. The term refers to physician-assisted suicide (PAS), which is suicide that is assisted by a physician or other healthcare provider. Once it is determined that the person's situation qualifies under the assisted suicide laws for that place, the physician's assistance is usually limited to writing a prescription for a lethal dose of drugs.

In 2009, The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner , a short documentary film, was produced by Just Media and HBO, chronicling the Initiative 1000 campaign. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short. [8]

Gardner supported eliminating Washington's WASL test, a standardized test that was required to graduate high school. It was replaced in 2009 by the MSP for grades three through eight and the HSPE for grades eight through twelve. [9]

Gardner died at his home in Tacoma, Washington on March 15, 2013, of Parkinson's disease. He was 76. [10]

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Jacob Michael Nist was a pioneering Seattle-based American businessman who established a container manufacturing company. Nist's company has been continuously owned and operated by six generations of the Nist family since 1889. A century after the founding of Queen City Box Manufacturing Company, Washington's Governor Booth Gardner honored Nist and his family, proclaiming October 23, 1989, to be "Nist Family Day", citing the company's contributions to the state's economy.

The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner is a 2009 documentary film directed by Daniel Junge and produced by Just Media for HBO Films. The film follows the "last campaign" of Booth Gardner, the Governor of Washington from 1985 to 1993, to facilitate the passage of the Washington Death with Dignity Act, legalizing physician-assisted suicide in Washington state.

Assisted death, known as medical aid in dying to proponents and assisted suicide to opponents, is a practice in which a terminally ill adult with less than six months to live may request a lethal dose of drugs from their doctor for self-administration to bring about death if they feel that the dying process has become unbearable. Data from the Oregon Health Authority, which publishes annual reports on its first-in-the-nation assisted death law, approximately two thirds of patients who qualify and receive a prescription take it.

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  2. 1 2 3 Yardley, William (March 18, 2013), "Booth Gardner Dies at 76; Ex-Washington Governor", The New York Times
  3. La Corte, Rachel (March 16, 2013), "Former Wash. Gov. Booth Gardner dies", Seattle Times , archived from the original on March 1, 2014
  4. Postman, David (February 7, 2006), "Ex-governor backs initiative to legalize assisted suicide", The Seattle Times
  5. Tu, Janet I. (November 5, 2008), "'Death with dignity' act passes", The Seattle Times , archived from the original on February 6, 2009
  6. Tu, Janet I. (February 11, 2009), "Rules governing state's Death With Dignity law debated", The Seattle Times , archived from the original on February 15, 2009
  7. Bergner, Daniel (December 2, 2007), "Death in the Family", The New York Times
  8. Oscars, Nominees (Feb 2010). "2009 Oscar Nominees". USA: Oscars. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
  9. Shaw, Linda (December 9, 2005), "Former governor now opposing WASL test for diploma", The Seattle Times , archived from the original on March 10, 2007
  10. "Former Wash. Gov. Booth Gardner Dies". ABC News. Retrieved 16 March 2013.

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Booth Gardner at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
New office Executive of Pierce County
Succeeded by
Joe Stortini
Preceded by
John Spellman
Governor of Washington
Succeeded by
Mike Lowry
Preceded by
Terry Branstad
Chair of the National Governors Association
Succeeded by
John Ashcroft
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jim McDermott
Democratic nominee for Governor of Washington
1984, 1988
Succeeded by
Mike Lowry