Former Nevada Gov. Guinn’s death ruled accidental |

Former Nevada Gov. Guinn’s death ruled accidental

LAS VEGAS – Former Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn died July 22 from injuries he received in a fall from the roof of his Las Vegas home, the Clark County coroner said Monday.

The 73-year-old Guinn’s death was ruled an accident.

“The fall caused his death,” Coroner Mike Murphy said of the results of an autopsy and forensic analysis. “The thing that held this case up was our need to determine if it was a medical event that caused the fall, or the fall that caused the medical event.”

Guinn, an enthusiastic home handyman, was pronounced dead of chest and head injuries at University Medical Center after his wife, Dema, found him on the ground near where he had been working on the roof of their ranch-style house on a weekday morning.

Guinn was a two-term moderate Republican who served as Nevada’s 27th elected governor from 1999 to 2007. In his nearly 50 years in Las Vegas, he became school superintendent, a millionaire banker and chairman of Southwest Gas, as well as interim president of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, which he did for a salary of just $1.

Guinn’s terms spanned an era of prosperity and rapid growth in the Silver State, when the state population grew nearly 40 percent, from less than 2 million to more than 2.7 million.

As governor, Guinn founded a scholarship program to help Nevada high school graduates attend state universities. The program has been renamed the Kenny C. Guinn Millennium Scholarship program.

Guinn’s death was mourned in Las Vegas during a July 27 Catholic Mass that drew a bipartisan audience more than 1,200 family members, government staffers, judges, county, state and federal elected officials – along with an official honor guard and 21-gun salute.

He was toasted during a reception at a casino-hotel following the funeral that featured beer and hot dogs because that’s what his family said he would have wanted.

Guinn was buried July 29 in his boyhood home in Exeter, Calif., after a graveside ceremony attended by more than 150 family members and friends.

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