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Ella Grasso, Governor of Connecticut, Dies of Cancer


HARTFORD, Conn.--Former Gov. Ella Grasso (D-Conn.) died last night at Hartford Hospital of complications resulting from cancer.

Grasso died at 5:49 p.m. of a cardiac arrest following multiple organ failure, hospital spokesman James Battaglio said yesterday.

She had been in a coma since early Thursday and had lingered in a semi-comatose state since Sunday.

The governor resigned more than two months ago, halfway through her second term, saying her illness drained her of the "endurance and stamina" required to face another session of her state's General Assembly.

Grasso's husband, Thomas, and her children James and Susan, were at her-bedside when she died.

Gov. William A. O'Neill said Grasso would "receive every honor as a head of state should," adding that her body would lie in state at the Connecticut State Capitol from 11 a.m. Sunday to 11 a.m. Monday.

The funeral is scheduled for noon Monday at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Hartford.

O'Neill, speaking about two and a half hours after Grasso's death, said, "My heart goes out to all the governor's family and friends around the state. My own personal heart is breaking."

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