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Booth Gardner

Gov. Booth Gardner

  • January 16, 1985 - January 13, 1993
  • Democratic
  • August 21, 1936
  • March 15, 2013
  • Virginia
  • University of Washington, Harvard University
  • Married Jean Forstrom; two children
  • NGA Chair


BOOTH GARDNER was born in Tacoma, Washington. He received a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Washington in 1958 and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University in 1963. In 1966, he served as assistant dean of Harvard Business School. From 1967 to 1972, he was an associate director of the School of Business and Econimics at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. He served as a state senator from 1970 to 1973. From 1972 to 1980, he was president of the Laird Norton company, a building materials and supply firm doing business in 11 states. From 1981 to 1984, he served as the Pierce County Executive. He has also served on the board of directors of the Weyerhaeuser Company, Metropolitan Building Corporation, Pudget sound National Bank, Washington Commission for the Humanities, and the Troubleshooters, the state advocacy group for the developmentally handicapped. He founded the Seattle Mental Health Institute and the Central Area Youth Association. As governor, Gardner focused on international trade, working to create trade routes. He also encouraged business to clean up the environment and spent significant funds on AIDS prevention. After his tenure as governor, he was named ambassador of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT – now the World Trade Organization). He chaired the Western Governors’ Association, the Education Commission of the States, and the National Governors Association.


Official Records at Washington State Archives, 1985-1993, 828 cubic feet.

List of finding aids for Washington State governors available at the Northwest Digital Archives.

University of Washington College of Education

Washington Secretary of State

Washington State Library: Governors of Washington State

Recent Washington Governors