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Jack Richard Williams.jpg

John Richard "Jack" Williams (29 October 1909-24 August 1998) was the Republican Mayor of Phoenix from 3 January 1956 to 4 January 1960 (succeeding Frank G. Murphy and preceding Sam Mardian) and Governor of Arizona from 2 January 1967 to 6 January 1975 (succeeding Samuel Pearson Goddard Jr. and preceding Raul Hector Castro).


John Richard Williams was born in Los Angeles, California in 1909, and he was raised in Ash Fork, Yavapai County, Arizona and Phoenix. He lost his right eye to a malignant tumor and was unable to have a glass eye fitted due to his radiation therapy, leading to him wearing glasses with a frosted right lens. He found work as a radio announcer in 1929, becoming a publicly-recognized radio figure. From 1936 to 1966, he served as KOY's program director, and he opened every show by saying, "It's a beautiful day in Arizona. Leave us all enjoy it!" He also served as President of the Phoenix Elementary School District No. 1 board from 1943 to 1952, on the city council from 1952 to 1956, as Mayor of Phoenix from 1956 to 1960 (supporting the annexation of the city's suburbs to provide the new areas with police and fire protection, health and sanitation services, parks and playgrounds, street repair, and zoning controls), and as Governor from 1967 to 1975. He was a hardline conservative who worked to minimize taxes, balance the state budget, and provide a favorable business environment, leading to a boom in the state's economy and employment. However, he was nearly recalled in 1973 for signing into a law a bill which limited a union's ability to strike at harvest times and prohibited secondary boycotts, and he decided to retire in 1974. He served as a member of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District board from 1981 to 1994 and died in 1998.