By Jesse Sarles

DENVER (CBS4) – Former Colorado Gov. Richard “Dick” Lamm has passed away due to complications from a pulmonary embolism. The first governor in the state to serve 12 years in office over three terms was 85.

Gov. Dick Lamm gives his last State of the State Speech in 1986.

Gov. Dick Lamm gives his last State of the State Speech in 1986. (credit: The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Former First Lady Dottie Lamm shared the news of the death of her husband on Friday morning, sharing a statement that says “With great sadness, but also gratitude for a life well lived and in service to his beloved Colorado, I want to share the news of the death of my husband, former Governor Richard D. Lamm.”

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Dick Lamm in 1985

Blue Knights get a flag from Colorado Gov. Dick Lamm, right, in 1985. (credit: The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Lamm’s political career took off in the 1970s after he helped fight Denver being the host of the 1976 Winter Olympics, which had been awarded to the State of Colorado. He argued that the Games would cause environmental damage and result in unneccessary high expenditures for the state. The Games wound up being relocated to Innsbruck, Austria.

He served as governor from 1975 to 1987 and only he and former Gov. Roy Romer have served as Colorado governor for 12 years. Lamm also ran for president in 1996 as a member of the Reform Party.

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Former Colorado Gov. Richard "Dick" Lamm

Former Colorado Gov. Dick Lamm (credit: AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Dottie Lamm said Dick was surrounded by his family when he died. He would have turned 86 next week.

Gov. Jared Polis issued a statement thanking the Lamms for their public service. He said in part “Gov. Lamm took on tough issues, and he never shied away from civil political discourse and embraced collaboration. His legacy and leadership will be remembered in our state’s history.”

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Details about a memorial service and “opportunities for remembrance” will be shared soon.

Jesse Sarles