Kansas Gov. William H. Avery, 1911-2009

Flags across the state of Kansas are flying at half-staff today after the death of former William H. Avery.

Avery died yesterday at age 98.

Avery was born August 11, 1911, in Wakefield. He was a 1934 graduate of the University of Kansas’ law school.

In 1950, the Republican was elected to the Kansas state Legislature. After four years, he was elected to the U.S. Congress. He held the seat until 1965, when he was elected governor of Kansas.

Avery lasted only one-term, losing to Robert Docking.

Avery condemned Perry Smith and Richard Hickock to the gallows for murdering the Clutter family. The murders were featured in Truman Capote‘s true-crime novel In Cold Blood.

Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson issued this statement:

“Governor Avery led our state during a time of tragic loss

and national attention; Kansas honors his long life and service to our

state. Our thoughts and prayers are with his children and family.”

Flags will fly at half-staff until Avery’s interment. A press release from the governor’s office says services are scheduled for November 14 in Wakefield, Kansas.

Photo via the Kansas State Historical Society.

Categories: News, Politics