The family of former Louisiana Governor Murphy James Foster says he has passed away from a non-COVID-19 sickness at age 90.
Foster's wife Alice announced yesterday that the state's former two-term chief executive had died while in hospice care.
Foster ran for state office in 1987 and was elected Louisiana's 53rd governor in 1996, serving until 2004.
Foster was known for his pro-business, pro-education policies, helping keep the Saints from leaving town, and brokering the deal to bring the NBA back to New Orleans.
"A veteran, a businessman and a sportsman, Gov. Mike Foster was a true Louisianan who served his country, his state and his community with honor throughout his life," said Gov. John Bel Edwards. "As governor, one of his most lasting legacies is in education, especially his support for the creation of the TOPS program, which, more than 20 years later, still helps thousands of Louisiana students attend colleges and universities and achieve their goals.
"Donna and I are praying for Gov. Foster’s family, and especially his wife Alice, during this difficult time and hope the people of our state will join their prayers to ours. I have ordered that flags in the state be flown at half-staff in honor of his memory," Edwards added.
“The death of former Gov. Mike Foster could be seen as one more tragedy of 2020," said U.S. Senator Dr. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. "But his life and service are to be celebrated. He invested heavily in higher education, greatly expanded the community college system, and worked to make Louisiana an opportunity state. He will be missed, but his achievements endure."
“Mike Foster worked hard to create jobs and improve education across Louisiana," said U.S. Senator John Kennedy. "I had the privilege of serving in his administration and seeing firsthand why so many Louisianians admire him. Becky and I are incredibly sad about his passing, but we are so happy to have known him. We are praying for Alice and the entire Foster family.”