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Former Jackson County leader Alex Petrovic dies at age 92

Alex Petrovic served as a Jackson County commissioner and a Missouri representative.
Alex Petrovic served as a Jackson County commissioner and a Missouri representative.

Alex Petrovic, who helped usher in government reforms to Jackson County and helped bring the two professional sports stadiums to the eastern part of the county, died Monday.

Petrovic was 92. He had lived in Sugar Creek.

Tom Wyrsch, chairman of the Jackson County Democratic Committee, announced the passing in an email to area Democrats.

Petrovic served as a Missouri representative from 1962 to 1966 in an Independence district that included Harry Truman’s former home. Wyrsch said Petrovic established the Missouri State Archives in 1965, and a reading room was named after him in Jefferson City.

In the late 1960s, he served as Jackson County’s Eastern District judge — a post similar to county commissioner in those days — with Presiding Judge Charles E. Curry and Charles Wheeler, who went on to serve as Kansas City mayor.

Longtime political consultant Steve Glorioso said Petrovic was an original member of Committee for County Progress, a reform group that worked to clean up county government once plagued by corruption.

“He was beloved because he was an hysterically funny man,” Glorioso said.

A 2012 story in The Examiner told of Petrovic’s early encounters with Truman when Petrovic served on the county court, as Truman once had in the 1920s and ’30s.

“I was nervous as hell,” Petrovic told The Examiner of his first meetings with Harry and Bess Truman. “I was still in awe of him, being a former president. He reached over, hit me on the leg and said, ‘I want you to treat me like an old shoe tonight. Let’s have some fun!’”

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