Governor Brian Sandoval has signed an executive order to lower flags in honor of former Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt.

The flags of the United States and the State of Nevada will be flown at half-staff at the State Capitol and all state public buildings from sunrise on Thursday to sunset on Saturday.

“Senator Laxalt was a friend and a mentor,” Governor Sandoval said. “He was also a champion for our great state and our nation. Senator Laxalt’s love for Nevada was apparent to everyone he met, and he set an example as a true statesman. It is most fitting to honor him by lowering the flags of our state and our nation. A consummate gentleman who will be remembered for generations to come may Senator Laxalt rest in peace.”

Laxalt died Monday at a health care facility in Virginia. He was 96.

Laxalt was a son of Basque immigrants who had a storied political career, including a brief run for president in 1987.

He started his political career by getting elected district attorney in 1954. Laxalt won his first statewide race, for lieutenant governor, in 1962. He lost a U.S. Senate race in 1964 by a scant 84 votes, but bounced back by winning the governor's race in 1966.

Laxalt also helped to launch the state's community college system, medical school, and Lake Tahoe preservation efforts.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)