YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Across Ohio, representatives from both parties have taken the time to remember a man who has been called a legendary leader.
Early Sunday morning, George Voinovich’s wife released a statement confirming that her husband died peacefully in his sleep. He was 79 years old.
Voinovich spent 12 years in the Senate, leaving in 2011. He previously served two terms as Ohio’s governor and a decade as the mayor of Cleveland.
Voinovich was well known across the country for his accomplishments, especially in his hometown of Cleveland, which became known as “The Comeback City” under his guidance.
His impact can also be seen locally on Federal Street, where the George V. Voinovich Government Center sits in his honor.
“He was a great role model for those of us who walk in his footsteps. He listened to people, he really cared. And that’s the kind of leadership we’re looking for now. My prayers go out to his family, and those people around the state that are going to miss him. It’s really going to be a big loss,” said Mahoing County Republican Party Vice Chair Tracey Winbush.
“He believed that his calling was to serve others – his city, community and country – through his work in government. He also believed that everyone had God-given gifts, and that we all need to use our gifts to help others,” said Attorney General Mike DeWine.
“As mayor, as governor and as senator, George Voinovich exemplified everything good about public service. It was never about him, but always about helping others. He was an independent voice who never hesitated to speak his mind,” said U.S. Sen. Rob Portman.
“I am very saddened today by the passing of my friend George Voinovich. I respected him greatly and had a deep affection for him,” said Ohio Gov. John Kasich.