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Jane Dee Hull
(1935 - 2020)

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Jane arrived in Arizona in 1962 to serve as a much-needed teacher for the Navajo Nation. The respect she earned from the Navajo community followed her throughout her life and into the Governor’s chair. She was honored to attend sacred ceremonies at which very few non-tribal members were permitted.


Moving to Phoenix, Hull was elected in 1978 as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives, where she became the first female speaker. She instituted ethics reform and promoted legislation that improved the quality of life for all Arizonan’s. In 1994 she was elected Secretary of State, becoming the second woman to hold that office and the first Republican since 1931. When Governor Fife Symington was forced to resign after a scandal, Hull became governor on September 5, 1997. She was sworn in by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, herself a former Arizona legislator, and managed to return a sense of stability to State affairs. In 1998 she was handily elected Governor in her own right, the first woman to do so in Arizona. 


Governor Hull was known as the “Education Governor.” She initiated and secured passage of a sales tax for education that yielded over $10 billion in funds for K-12 schooling, university research, and college workforce development programs. She also focused on children’s issues, including establishing the “KidsCare” program for children of the working poor. In healthcare, Governor Hull assisted in establishing the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGEN). In economic development, Governor Hull forged a close relationship  with Mexico, working with President Vicente Fox for trade, public safety, and cultural experiences.


Protecting Arizona’s natural environmental quality was also a priority for Governor Hull.  She fought a faulty federal remediation plan that would have damaged Arizona land, water, and air for generations to come. She ensured that the state met all federal health standards for ozone pollution and dust control. Throughout her life, Governor Hull promoted respect for human dignity. Her support for tolerance and civil rights while fighting racism, bigotry, and antisemitism was recognized when the Anti-Defamation League presented her with it’s highest honor of the “Torch of Liberty award”. 

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