LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Former three-term Nevada Assemblyman Paul Aizley died Sunday. He was 87.

Aizley was a longtime UNLV math professor, and he was remembered this week by students who said he changed their lives.

He pioneered efforts on progressive issues, taking on causes that others stayed away from, according to a former student who went on to serve with Aizley in the Legislature.

State Senator James Ohrenschall remembered how Aizley helped him graduate. “I first met him at UNLV when I was an undergrad,” he said.

“He was wonderful back then, and I never thought I’d serve with him in the state Legislature,” Ohrenschall said. He described Aizley, a Democrat, as a pioneer in the area of equality for the transgender community.

“He sponsored a bill in 2009 that would have prohibited discrimination for the transgender community. It was referred to committee, never got a hearing. He tried again in 2011. That bill was passed into law and it was the first statute in Nevada, I believe, to prohibit discrimination against the transgender community,” Ohrenschall said during remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday.

Paul Aizley.

“Very devoted to UNLV. If you ever saw his car, he had the personalized license plate U-N-L-V,” Ohrenschall said.

Aizley received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, then earned a master’s degree at the University of Arizona and a doctorate from Arizona State University.

With his wife, Sari, Aizley formed the Southern Nevada chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union in the 1980s, according to his website,

Aizley was also involved in the effort to establish Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, and he developed the OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) program while serving as dean of UNLV’s Continuing Education Division.

He was proud of his mathematics background, stating on his website, “He’s a mathematician who knows how to count taxpayer pennies! This skill is important in state budget management.”

Aizley is survived two brothers, Robert and Daniel Aizley, four daughters, Adrienne Poch, Jody Stasser, Sophia Rasile and tephanie Cain, two sons, Matthew Dillingham and David Phillips, 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Services are scheduled at 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, at King David Memorial Chapel and Cemetery, 2697 E. Eldorado Lane in Las Vegas.