Dixy Lee Ray
seventeenth governor of Washington (1914-1994)
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Dixy Lee Ray (September 3, 1914 – January 2, 1994) was a Democratic politician and the seventeenth governor of Washington State in the United States 1977–1981, making her the first woman to hold that position.
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- A nuclear-power plant is infinitely safer than eating, because 300 people choke to death on food every year.
- October 1975, quoted in a Seattle Times obituary published January 3, 1994.
- Don Duncan, Mark Matassa, Jim Simon, "Dixy Lee Ray: Unpolitical, Unique, Uncompromising", January 3, 1994, Seattle Times. Accessed 28 August 2012.
- Although this comment is quoted approvingly by nuclear industry supporters, it is also frequently cited mockingly or ironically by nuclear-industry opponents as an example of what they consider "absurd" arguments: "While industry leaders no longer proclaimed that nuclear power would be so plentiful that it would be 'too cheap to meter,' it concocted new lies such as 'no one has ever died from nuclear power,' 'you're more likely to be hit by a meteor than be hurt by a nuclear power accident,' and the fatuous claim by former AEC chairman Dixy Lee Ray that 'a nuclear power plant is infinitely safer than eating, because 300 people choke to death on food every year.' — David Bollier, "Corporate Abuses, Consumer Power," Chapter 5 of Citizen Action and Other Big Ideas: A History of Ralph Nader and the Modern Consumer Movement. Accessed 28 August 2012.
- Beware of averages. The average person has one breast and one testicle.
- October 1991, quoted in the Tri-City Herald, published in Kennewick, Washington.
- Former Gov. Dixy Lee Ray, speaking at a Forward Washington conference in Pasco, warned her audience against misuse of statistics. The Tri-City Herald quoted the always quotable Ray as saying: 'Beware of averages. The average person has one breast and one testicle.' — Jean Godden, "How Many Lawyers Do You Need To Fry Spam?", October 9, 1991, Seattle Times. Accessed 29 August 2012.