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Passenger Trains > Former FRA head Gil Carmichael passed away Sunday, January 31st

Date: 02/01/16 06:47
Former FRA head Gil Carmichael passed away Sunday, January 31st
Author: johnpage

Sad news for all of us in the railroad world; Gil Carmichael passed away in his home state of Mississippi Sunday, January 31st, at the age of 88. Mr. Carmichael, the former Administrator of the FRA under President George H.W. Bush, and later Chairman of the Amtrak Reform Council, was one of the best friends passenger rail ever had in this country. His list of accomplishments was long, before and after his important work in Washington. He was a brilliant visionary, and friend to many. One of his lasting accomplishments was his founding of the Transportation Institute at the University of Denver.

Mr. Carmichael was a Southern gentleman who still wrote personal thank you notes by hand. While he adapted to e-mail years ago, his secretary would print each one out for him to read, and then she would reply on his behalf. Talking with him was like talking with your favorite grandfather, and he was more than generous with his wisdom, knowledge, and encouragement for new ideas.

Here is the story from the Jackson, Mississippi Clarion-Ledger:

State Republican patriarch Gil Carmichael dead at 88

Geoff Pender, The Clarion-Ledger

Mississippi Republican patriarch Gil Carmichael, twice the GOP nominee for governor, a former transportation adviser to President George H.W. Bush and successful businessman has passed away at Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian.

He was 88.

State House Speaker Protem Greg Snowden, R-Meridian, said the Lauderdale County coroner had confirmed that Carmichael died shortly after 8 p.m. on Sunday.

"Just the term visionary -- that's what comes to mind with Gil Carmichael," Snowden said. "I admired the man. He was a visionary not just in politics, but in business. He could see the far shore. He could see what the future held."

Carmichael, a successful car dealer and real estate developer, was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1972 against veteran Democrat James O. Eastland. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1975 and 1979 against Democratic nominees Cliff Finch and William Winter. His final race was in 1983 against Democratic Lieutenant Gov. Brad Dye.

"Gil Carmichael inspired a generation of Republicans in 1975 when he became a force in Mississippi politics," Gov. Phil Bryant said Sunday night. "I was one of them. He was a mentor and a friend and he will be missed.

"Bryant, noting the death last week of public education champion and business and political leader Jack Reed Sr. of Tupelo, said Mississippi has "lost two great men who made this state a better place for us all."

Carmichael in 1973 joined the Highway Safety Advisory Committee and from 1976 to 1979 was a member of the National Transportation Policy Study Commission.

From 1989 to 1993 he was the head of the Federal Railroad Administration for the Bush Administration. He founded the Intermodal Transportation Institute at the University of Denber and was a former chairman of Amtrak.Contact.

Geoff Pender at (601) 961-7266 or gpender@jackson.gannett.com. Follow @GeoffPender on Twitter.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/01/16 06:50 by johnpage.

Date: 02/01/16 07:06
Re: Former FRA head Gil Carmichael passed away Sunday, January 31
Author: joemvcnj

Met him once. Very nice person.
He (and Trent Lott)  made it OK for a Deep South conservative to support passenger rail.

Date: 02/01/16 07:54
Re: Former FRA head Gil Carmichael passed away Sunday, January 31
Author: Lurch_in_ABQ

A bit ironic that Mr Carmichael was a car dealer - FIAT, VW, Mercedes and AUDI.

Date: 02/01/16 18:13
Re: Former FRA head Gil Carmichael passed away Sunday, January 31
Author: cutboy2

A  clear head  .  Met  a  couple times. Had the  best for  AMERICA in mind at all times.  He  believed in the Steel Interstate.

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