Former governor William Winter


Former governor William Winter was in stable condition at University of Mississippi Medical Center on Saturday and doctors are optimistic for a full recovery after he suffered a scary fall on his icy, Jackson driveway earlier in the day.

Winter, 93, widely considered one of Mississippi’s most progressive governors, was in intensive care and sedated Saturday afternoon.

Family friend Dick Molpus, who served as Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Federal-State Programs under Winter and later as Secretary of State, released the following statement on behalf of the family: “As everyone knows Gov. Winter is a robust and resilient man. He’s faced many physical challenges in his life and has always continued to keep his energy about him. This morning against good the counsel of his wife, he decided to go for a walk. He slipped on the snow and ice. He is in intensive care at UMMC with a concussion, and some relatively minor brain bleeds.”

“He is sedated. His physicians say he will be in ICU for another day or two,” Molpus continued. “Recognizing he is 93, his prognosis is good. It’s upbeat just like the man himself. My prediction is that we’ll see the old William Winter back in short order.”

Winter is an avid walker and spends some time almost every day walking through his Jackson neighborhood. Friends noted that they were not surprised to hear that Winter had gone for a walk despite the sleet storm that hit the Jackson area on Friday.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center provided few details beyond that Winter was being treated.

Another family friend, who asked that he not be identified, said the family was relieved to receive the upbeat report on Winter’s condition from a neurologist at the medical center.

Last October, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis presented Winter the prestigious Freedom Award, which honors women and men whose work in civil and human rights have made global and national impact.

“Gov. Winter turns 94 in February, and he has spent his lifetime working for all of the people in Mississippi,” Christopher Schultz, director of development and communications at The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation in Oxford said at the time. “It is really wonderful to have this recognition for the work he does. He works every day, and it is being recognized beyond the borders of our state among international luminaries for the cause of social justice.”

News of Winter’s injury spread after a Facebook post by attorney Dorsey Carson asked for prayers for Winter and described how he was driving by Winter’s house shortly after he fell and provided some assistance.

Gov. Phil Bryant tweeted that “Deborah and I ask all Mississippians to join us in praying for Gov. Winter and his family.”

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Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.

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