VICTOR G. ATIYEH was born in Portland, Oregon and attended the University of Oregon for two years. He spent thirty-five years as president and director of a family carpet business that began in 1900. He served for two decades in the Oregon state legislature, including three terms as Senate Republican Leader. He also served as a delegate to the Republican National Conventions of 1968, 1972, and 1976. Atiyeh was defeated in the gubernatorial election of 1974 but won election four years later against incumbent Robert Straub. As governor, he improved statement management and reformed workers compensation. He also established special programs for public safety in Oregon’s fishing and lumber industries. He also undertook a worldwide tourism initiative and led successful international and domestic trade missions on behalf of the state. Atiyeh was a leader in establishing Oregon Food Share, the nation’s first statewide food bank. For his work in human rights, he received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith of Oregon and the highest honor for meritorious public service presented by the U.S. Department of Justice. While chief executive of Oregon, he chaired the Republican Governors’ Association and was the Republican National Convention’s floor leader for incumbent President Ronald Reagan in 1984. After leaving public office, Atiyeh became a consultant in international trade.
Governors of the American States, Commonwealths and Territories, National Governors Association, 1985.