DENVER — Former Colorado Gov. Richard “Dick” Lamm, who successfully fought to stop the 1976 Winter Olympics from being held in Colorado even though they had been awarded to the state, has died. He was 85.

Lamm also famously said elderly people had a “duty to die” as he argued in support of physician-assisted suicide in 1984. Lamm explained that he was commenting generally about “the human condition, not beating up on the elderly.”

“We’ve got a duty to die and get out of the way with all of our machines and artificial hearts and everything else like that and let the other society, our kids, build a reasonable life,” Lamm said.

Lamm earned the nickname “Governor Gloom” for his comments on social security and health care.

His wife said in a statement Friday that Lamm passed away late Thursday following complications from a pulmonary embolism suffered this week.

Lamm served three terms as governor from 1975 to 1987. As a state lawmaker, he campaigned against hosting the 1976 games, arguing it would damage the environment and unnecessarily cost the state.

The Games were relocated to Innsbruck, Austria. Lamm also was an unsuccessful candidate for a 1992 Democratic U.S. Senate nomination.