His Life, Story, and Legacy

1 decade 8 months 3 days ago Monday, September 17 2007 Sep 17, 2007 Monday, September 17, 2007 3:43:59 AM CDT September 17, 2007 in News

Even after 35 years, Gov. Warren Hearnes and First Lady Betty Hearnes still impact Missouri. Now, Missourians can read their legacy. 

"The memoir, really, is based on Warren's life and our experiences. We have his childhood experiences in there and of course we deal with his career. It's so different now and I thought people would be interested in all the things he did," former First Lady Betty Hearnes said.

Betty Hearnes explained the times have changed.

"Many of the programs too that were started in Hearnes' administration and even the work he did in the legislature in the '50s, nobody in this generation is going to remember that and politics change, campaigns change the way the legislature works has changed," she said.

Hearnes was the first two-term governor in Missouri. Those extra four years kept him quite busy.

"We hadn't gotten to the second term, still in the first one and I had done so much and got so much through. Come second term I didn't have a lot to do and I had another four years to go," former Gov. Hearnes said.

The two terms were enough.

"I guess we could of argued more than two, but we could have ended up with a fight. And the way we did it and not asking for more and more and more and somebody saying--'We going to have Hearnes for the rest of our lives or something like that?' Do you think we would have got tired of that if we had you for the rest of your life? They would!" he said.

Gov. Matt Blunt held a special reception for the former governor at his old house.

"I think its important, regardless of party to thank those who have been willing to serve and Governor Hearnes definitely served our state for over two decades," Blunt said.

Two men separated by 35 years and party affiliation, sharing memories and advice.

"I always enjoy visiting with all of the governors, both current governors that are currently serving in other states and those that are serving in that position in the past, particularly here in Missouri, you really can learn a great deal from them," he added.

Now that their autobiography is out, Hearnes and his wife agree their legacy is education and mental health. But there's still one thing the two don't agree on.

"We are a little different, I say Missour-ah and she says Missouri," Warren said.

Gov. Hearnes said he always wanted to be an army man, but a broken leg led him into politics.

You can learn more about Governor Hearnes' army life and the first lady in the book "Warren Eastman Hearnes: A Memoir."

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