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Operation Lifesaver co-founder Sam Grayson dies

Sam Grayson, who co-founded the Operation Lifesaver program in 1972, died Nov. 2 at his Boise, Idaho, residence, Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) announced last week. He was 93.

Grayson and Ed Schafer of Union Pacific Railroad, along with Idaho Peace Officers and then-Gov. Cecil Andrus, started Operation Lifesaver as a six-week public awareness demonstration program in Idaho. After the state's grade crossing-related fatalities fell that year by 43 percent, the program began to spread nationwide.

In 1986, the national OLI office opened to help support state programs and raise awareness of crossing safety and trespass prevention.

"The entire Operation Lifesaver organization extends its sympathies to Mr. Grayson’s family, and expresses our thanks to Sam Grayson and Ed Schafer for founding this wonderful rail safety education and outreach program, which today operates in all 50 states, as well as in Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Estonia," said OLI President Joyce Rose in a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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