COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Bill Harris, a soft-spoken Marine veteran who brought charm and discipline to his tenure as president of the Ohio Senate, has died. He was 83.

In announcing Harris' death Monday, Senate President Larry Obhof (AWB'-hawf) described the Ashland Republican as a man of "authentic faith" and "genuine interest in his fellow Ohioans."

The Tennessee native joined the Ohio House in 1995 after a 23-year military career and success as a car dealer. Ohio GOP Chair Jane Timken says he "embodied the American Dream."

Harris moved to the Senate in 2000 in a deal struck to defuse a brewing House leadership battle. He served as president from 2005 to 2010.

Republican Jon Husted (HYOO'-sted) was House Speaker during Harris' presidency. Husted called Harris "the most decent person I have ever known."