DES MOINES (AP) — Former Iowa Gov. Robert Ray is getting a big birthday present from the World Food Prize Foundation — an annual award in his name.
Ray, who is turning 85 on Thursday, is scheduled to appear at the announcement of the Robert D. Ray Iowa SHARES Award.
The annual award recognizes Ray’s humanitarian leadership and will be given to someone who has provided significant leadership in confronting hunger and alleviating human suffering.
Between 1975 and 1982 Ray, as Iowa governor, assisted 8,000 refugees allied with the United States during the Vietnam War escape Southeast Asia where many were being killed by new government rulers. Many settled in Iowa. He also arranged for food, medicine and Iowa doctors to be sent to help Cambodian refugees.
Ray was governor from 1969 to 1983.