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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 September 2006, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
Former Texas governor dies at 73
File photo of Ann Richards, 1991
Ann Richards served as Governor of Texas from 1991 to 1995
Former Governor of Texas Ann Richards, who held office in the early 1990s, has died at her home in Austin, Texas after battling oesophageal cancer.

The popular 73 year-old lost her 1994 re-election bid to President George W Bush, then a political novice.

An outspoken figure, she made headlines at the Democratic National Convention in 1988 by saying George HW Bush was "born with a silver foot in his mouth."

Ann Richards broke down barriers in the male-dominated Texan establishment.

A supporter of minority and women's rights, she once remarked that "Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels".

She had four children before entering politics in 1976.

Ms Richards served two terms as Texas state treasurer before winning the governorship.

She became only the second woman ever to hold the state's top job.

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