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Neil Goldschmidt, former Oregon governor who admitted to a sexual relationship with a minor in the 1970s, has passed away

Former Oregon Gov. Neil Goldschmidt (Via Davey Jones/Shutterstock)

Neil Goldschmidt, former Oregon Governor and influential Portland mayor known for shaping the city’s youthful and progressive image, has passed away at the age of 83. His death occurred at his Portland residence due to heart failure, according to family members cited by The Oregonian.

During his tenure as mayor, Goldschmidt earned praise for transforming a busy highway into a popular riverfront park and laying the groundwork for a robust public transit system. However, his legacy was overshadowed by a hidden scandal: he maintained an illegal sexual relationship in the 1970s with the teenage daughter of one of his aides.

Goldschmidt made history in 1972 as the youngest mayor of a major U.S. city at the age of 32.

Former Oregon Gov. Neil Goldschmidt (Via Davey Jones/Shutterstock)

He later served as President Jimmy Carter’s transportation secretary before becoming Oregon governor from 1987 to 1991.

In 1990, Goldschmidt announced his separation from his wife, Margie, and his decision not to seek re-election as governor, citing personal reasons. This move surprised many, as he was seen as a rising political star.

The revelation of his past misconduct came in 2004 when Goldschmidt publicly acknowledged the relationship that began when the girl was just 14 years old. Despite the statutory rape implications under Oregon law at the time, legal action was barred by the statute of limitations.

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