George Busbee

Georgia Governor

George Busbee, 76, a former Democratic Georgia governor who campaigned as "a workhorse, not a show horse," died July 16 after an apparent heart attack. He collapsed at the Savannah, Ga., airport.

Gov. Busbee was Georgia's governor from 1975 to 1983. While he was in office, voters approved a constitutional amendment that allowed him to become the state's first governor to serve two consecutive four-year terms.

He launched the state's first kindergarten program and steered Georgia through two recessions. Seeing the demise of agriculture and textiles as the state's leading industries, he worked to attract emerging high-tech businesses that propelled Georgia's growth in the 1990s.

Robert Smylie

Idaho Governor

Robert Smylie, 89, the only man elected to three consecutive terms as governor of Idaho, died July 17 at his home in Boise, Idaho. He had pneumonia.

Gov. Smylie decided to embrace the imposition of a sales tax in 1965. That enabled the tax's key legislative advocates to round up the votes needed for passage.

He called it the most important legislative act in the state's first century, creating what policymakers now refer to as Idaho's three-legged stool of income, property and sales taxes.

In addition to enactment of the sales tax in the final years of his three terms, the Republican governor's administration saw an increase in the minimum wage, institution of the five-day workweek for state employees, an extensive highway construction program and the establishment of the state park system.