Austin, Texas (AP) -- A family spokeswoman says former Texas governor Ann Richards has died.
She was 73.
The spokeswoman says Richards died at home surrounded by her family. Richards was found to have cancer of the esophagus in March and underwent chemotherapy treatments.
The silver-haired, silver-tongued Richards said she entered politics to help others -- especially women and minorities who were often ignored by Texas' male-dominated establishment.
She grabbed the national spotlight with her keynote address at the 1988 democratic national convention when she was Texas state treasurer. Richards sealed her partisan reputation with a blast at then-vice president George H.W. Bush. Said Richards: "Poor George, he can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."
Richards rose to the governorship with a come-from-behind victory over Clayton Williams in 1990.
She was governor for one term, losing her re-election bid to republican George W. Bush.
(Copyright 2006 by the associated press. All rights reserved.)