July 24, 2013 Atlanta: Robby Rivers, right, clerk of the Georgia House of Representatives since 1991, holds court while holding House Speaker David Ralston’s hand for balance during a Wednesday afternoon July 24, 2013 retirement party at the State Capitol. Rivers has been an institution at the Capitol for 27 years, the first six of which were spent as attorney for former House Speaker Tom Murphy. BEN GRAY / BGRAY@AJC.COM

Former Georgia House Clerk Robbie Rivers dies after bipartisan service

Robbie Rivers, the longtime clerk of the Georgia House known for his deep knowledge and calming influence under both Democratic and Republican leadership, died Tuesday at age 68.

Rivers served as the clerk for more than 20 years until his retirement in 2013, responsible for managing thousands of bills, amendments and voting records.

“No one loved serving others as much as Robbie Rivers,” said House Speaker David Ralston, a Republican from Blue Ridge. “Robbie was never too busy to help a new representative who sincerely wanted to learn the legislative process. We have lost an institution.”

Rivers, who grew up in Bremen, originally received the clerk’s job from Democratic Speaker Tom Murphy, who also was from Bremen, and survived the Republican takeover of the House in 2004.

He had extensive recall of the law, the rules of the House and Georgia’s legislative history — qualities that served him well as he managed many of the House’s operations.

“Robbie Rivers was a dear friend who always put others before himself,” said Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. “At the Capitol, you could count on him to bring a smile to people’s faces. He was a pillar of institutional knowledge in Georgia’s legal and political communities.”

The cause of Rivers’ death wasn’t immediately disclosed.

Read and sign the online guestbook for Robbie Rivers

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.