HOUSTON, June 28 (UPI) -- Former Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe Jr. has died at the family home in Uvalde, Texas, friends said. He was 87.
Briscoe had been hospitalized in January and only recently returned home, the Houston Chronicle reported Sunday.
Former Texas Gov. Mark White said he considered Briscoe a mentor and "a giant of our time."
"The state of Texas has lost a great leader, and I have lost a dear friend," White said.
Briscoe, a conservative Democrat who favored limited government, was elected in 1973 and served two terms.
Born in Uvalde in 1923, Briscoe was a lifelong rancher who served for eight years in the Texas state legislature in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
In the early 1970s the state government was mired in corruption scandals when Briscoe was elected.
"He restored integrity to state government," White said. "He was the most honest man I ever knew."
Briscoe's wife Janey died in 2000. He is survived by a son, two daughters and five grandchildren, the Chronicle reported.