Former Michigan Gov. William Milliken dies at age 97

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s longest-serving governor, William G. Milliken, has died. He was 97.

A family spokesman, Jack Lessenberry, says Milliken died Friday at his home in Traverse City.

Milliken, a moderate Republican, was governor for 14 years until 1983. His style of bipartisan cooperation made him popular among voters and politicians in both major parties.

Milliken’s priorities included civil rights, protecting the environment and helping Detroit as the city struggled with population loss and tumult in the auto industry. In 1972, he signed legislation creating the Michigan Lottery, which remains a source of cash for schools.

Milliken was promoted to governor from lieutenant governor in 1969 when Gov. George Romney resigned to join President Richard Nixon’s administration. He won three elections but didn’t run again in 1982, retiring from politics at age 59.