Diane Divers Blair, a U. of Arkansas political science professor whom President Clinton appointed to a five- year term on the board of the Corp. for Public Broadcasting, died June 26 in Fayetteville, Ark., following a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 61.

She was a longtime friend and adviser to Clinton dating to the early 1970s when both Clintons taught at the U. of Arkansas. When Clinton took office in 1992, he appointed her to the board of the CPB. She was elected chairman of the panel in 1997, serving the maximum two years as leader.

In 1998, she was reappointed by the president and was confirmed by the Senate to a second term, which was to expire in January 2004.

For more than 12 years, Blair served as a commissioner of the Arkansas Educational Television Network, including a term as chairman. From 1986-88, she chaired then-Gov. Clinton’s task force on Satellite Television Instruction.

Blair’s funeral will be private. The Clintons are expected to attend a memorial service scheduled for July 25, White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said.

In addition to her husband, Blair is survived by five children and two grandchildren.

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