Richard Lamm was a highly influential politician in the State of Colorado. Early in his career, he led the opposition to hold the Olympics in Denver. Normally, such a position would be untenable for a local elected leader.

But the ultimate success of the movement helped to catapult Lamm into power. Eventually, he would take over Colorado's highest elected office as the state's governor.

Richard Lamm passed away on July 29

Richard Lamm died on July 29, 2021. A pulmonary embolism apparently caused his death.

Lamm was first elected governor of Colorado in 1974 as a Democrat.

He defeated the Republican incumbent Governor John D. Vanderhoof. Lamm was re-elected in 1978 and again in 1982. Both victories came in a landslide fashion.

His first foray into elected politics was as a member of the Colorado House of Representatives. He was first elected to the House in 1964. During his career in the state legislature, Denver was tapped to host the 1976 Winter Olympics. Typically, such a thing would be a point of immense pride for the region selected to put on the games. However, many in Colorado became concerned about issues including taxpayer costs and environmental hazards.

Lamm became the main figure of the side against having the Olympics in Denver. A referendum was ultimately held in Colorado.

More voters on the referendum chose to reject the opportunity of hosting the event, which was moved to Austria.

Earlier in his political career, Lamm was affiliated with the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. As time went on, he became more moderate and pragmatic. He also received a nickname, "Governor Gloom," for his often bluntly pessimistic views about the future of society.

Lamm did not run for re-election in 1986. Colorado Treasurer Roy Romer, also a Democrat, was elected to succeed him. Lamm refused calls to run for the U.S. Senate in 1990 when Republican incumbent William L. Armstrong was retiring. Republican U.S. Representative Hank Brown ultimately ran the seat. Two years later, Lamm would make a try for the U.S.

Senate. U.S. Representative Ben Nighthorse Campbell prevailed in the Democratic primary and later the general election.

In 1996, as noted by CBS Denver, Lamm entered Presidential politics. But by then, he'd become dissatisfied with major U.S. political parties, including the Democrats. He instead sought the Presidential nomination from the Reform Party. However, the nomination eventually went to party founder Ross Perot. In retirement from politics, Lamm continued to be active in particular causes. Such as environmentalism and, as indicated by the Columbus Daily Telegram, immigration reform.

His roots were based in Wisconsin

Lamm was a native of Madison, Wisconsin. He would go on to graduate from the world-renowned University of Wisconsin with a degree in accounting.

After graduating, Lamm became an officer in the United States Army, attaining the rank of first lieutenant.

He also received a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley's law school. Eventually, he took on a teaching position at the University of Denver.

Lamm married Dottie Vennard in 1963. They would have two children. In 1998, Dottie was the Democratic nominee for that year's U.S. Senate race in Colorado. She would lose to incumbent Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who by then had become a Republican.