Robert Ray Papers

robert ray

Governor Robert Ray


The Collection:

9 boxes plus 35 VHS tapes and 19 oversized framed items.

Researcher Access:

Collection is open to researchers.  For more information contact Hope Grebner Bibens, Political Papers Archivist,, 515-271-2088

Biographical Note:

Robert Dolph Ray was born on September 26, 1928 in Des Moines, Iowa.  He received a B.A. in Business from Drake University in 1952 and his JD from Drake University Law School in 1954.  Before being elected governor, he served as Chair of the Republican Party of Iowa.  Ray served as the 38th Governor of Iowa from January 16, 1969 to January 14, 1983.  He served for two years as the Chairman of the National Governors Association.  Among his notable achievements were the establishment of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women, for which he later received the Christine Wilson Medal for Equality and Justice.  He also created a program to make Iowa a place of resettlement for refugees from war-torn Southeast Asia.  Later, Ray served as chair of Drake University’s Board of Governors, followed in 1997 by a term as interim mayor of the city of Des Moines.  In April 1998, Drake University appointed Ray its 11th President, serving until May of 1999.  In 2005, he received the Iowa Award, the state’s highest civilian honor.