David Pryor, who served two terms as Arkansas governor and three terms as a U.S. senator before retiring in 1997, underwent heart surgery Wednesday after complaining of chest pains.

Pryor, 72, was admitted to the hospital at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences on Monday. The surgery started Wednesday morning, said Michael Teague, a spokesman for Pryor's son, Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark.

"My father's doctors are prescribing the necessary treatment for a full recovery," Mark Pryor said in a statement Tuesday.

The elder Pryor also had heart surgery 14 years ago.

Pryor was confirmed by the Senate in September to serve on the eight-member board of directors for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

He was elected governor in 1974 and served two two-year terms before being elected to the Senate. He was named dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service in March 2004 and stepped down from the school this year. Pryor has also served as director of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and as a Fulbright Distinguished Fellow of Law and Public Affairs at the University of Arkansas.