Ruth Bascom

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Ruth Bascom
Mayor of Eugene, Oregon
In office
Preceded byJeffrey Miller
Succeeded byJim Torrey
Personal details
BornFebruary 4, 1926
Ames, Iowa
DiedAugust 26, 2010(2010-08-26) (aged 84)
Springfield, Oregon
Spouse(s)John Bascom

Ruth Ellen Bascom (née Fenton; February 4, 1926 – August 26, 2010) was an American politician who served as the first female Mayor of Eugene, Oregon from 1993 until 1996.[1]

She met her future husband, John U. Bascom, when the two were sixth-graders together in Manhattan, Kansas. The couple moved to Eugene in 1960, and all six of their children went to South Eugene High School.[2] As mayor, Bascom worked to revitalize downtown Eugene, getting rid of a fountain that blocked traffic on Broadway and Willamette streets and creating bicycle and pedestrian paths. The Riverbank Trail System, which extends for twelve miles through the city along the Willamette River, is named for her.[3]

On August 15, 2010, Bascom was the passenger of a car driven by her husband, John Bascom.[1] Bascom reportedly fell asleep at the wheel and struck several trees and large boulders on U.S. Route 395 near Burns, Oregon.[1] Ruth Bascom suffered major injuries in the accident and was hospitalized.

Ruth Bascom died from a stroke and injuries sustained in the accident on August 26, 2010, at the age of 84.[1][3] She was survived by her husband and six children, Ellen, Tom, Paul, Mary, Cindy, and Becky.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d "Former Eugene mayor dies". The Oregonian. 2010-08-28. Retrieved 2010-09-09.
  2. ^ Baker, Mark (February 12, 2007). "Resolute Ruth Bascom bikes on". The Register-Guard. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Son says former Eugene OR mayor died after stroke". The Register-Guard. 2010-08-27. Retrieved 2010-09-09.[permanent dead link]