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Vern Romney, former Utah Attorney General, dies at 89

By Pat Reavy | Posted - Jul 14th, 2013 @ 7:58pm



SALT LAKE CITY — Vernon B. Romney, former Utah attorney general and candidate for governor, died Saturday at the age of 89.

Romney, a Republican, served two terms as state attorney general from 1969 to 1977. He ran on the Republican ticket for governor of Utah in 1976, and was defeated by the Democratic challenger, Scott Matheson.

In a statement released Sunday, Romney's family said he died of natural causes in Salt Lake City.

Romney graduated from East High School in 1941. He attended Brigham Young University before receiving a degree in political science from the University of Utah. He obtained his law degree from George Washington University. Romney also served an LDS mission to Buffalo and Niagra Falls, N.Y., in 1948.

During World War II, Romney served in the U.S. Army as an infantryman in the 96th Infantry Division in the Leyte and Okinawa campaigns.

After working with a couple of law firms in Salt Lake City, he became an assistant attorney general for Utah from 1955 to 1959 under E. R. Callister. He was appointed to the position by former Gov. Cal Rampton. He also worked on the Washington D.C. staff of Utah Sen. Arthur V. Watkins and as an attorney for the Federal Communications Commission.

While attorney general, his family listed some of his greatest accomplishments as leading a successful effort at the U.S. Supreme Court to obtain the mineral rights in the Great Salt Lake for the state of Utah, improving airline service into and from Salt Lake City, and increasing protection for consumers in Utah.

Shortly after losing his bid for governor, Romney became the city attorney for Highland.

Romney is survived by his wife, Patricia Romney, whom he met at the University of Utah. They were married in 1952. They later served LDS missions together in La Jolla, Calif., and in West Virginia. The Romneys have six children, 21 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Vernon Romney was a first-cousin once removed of former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Pat Reavy

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