Dick Thornburgh Wiki – Biography
Dick Thornburgh was an American lawyer, author and Republican politician who served as the 41st governor of Pennsylvania from 1979 to 1987, and then as the U.S, has died. Attorney General from 1988 to 1991. Before his time as attorney general and governor, he served as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Thornburgh was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 16, 1932, the son of Alice (Sanborn) and Charles Garland Thornburgh, an engineer. Thornburgh attended Mercersburg Academy then Yale University from which he obtained an engineering degree in 1954. Subsequently, he received a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1957, where he served as an editor of the Law Review. He subsequently has been awarded honorary degrees from 32 other colleges and universities. He joined the Pittsburgh-based law firm Kirkpatrick & Lockhart in 1959.
Dick Thornburgh Age
Dick Thornburgh has died at the of 88-years-old.
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Wife & Children
Thornburgh married Ginny Hooton, and they had three sons together (John, David and Peter). Ginny Hooton was killed in an automobile accident in 1960 which left Peter, the youngest of their three sons, with physical and intellectual disability. In 1963 Thornburgh was remarried to Ginny Judson, with whom they had another son, Bill, in 1966. Ginny (Judson) Thornburgh was a former schoolteacher from New York, who holds degrees from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A lifelong advocate of people with disabilities, she served as Director of the Interfaith Initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities, based in Washington, D.C., and has co-authored and edited “That All May Worship,” an award-winning handbook for religious congregations working to include people with all types of disabilities. She received the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights in April 2005.
The Thornburghs have four sons (John, David, Peter, and Bill), six grandchildren, and four great-granddaughters and one great-grandson. As parents of a son with disability, they have taken a special interest in the needs of persons with disabilities and, with their son Peter, were named “Family of the Year.” Both Ginny and Dick Thornburgh were featured speakers at the Vatican Conference on Disabilities held in Rome in November 1992, and were co-recipients in 2003 of the Henry B. Betts Award, the proceeds from which were used to establish the Thornburgh Family Lecture Series on Disability Law and Policy at the University of Pittsburgh. As Attorney General of the United States, Thornburgh played a leading role in the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2002 Thornburgh received the Wiley E. Branton Award of The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs in recognition of his “commitment to the civil rights of people with disabilities.”
Mr. Thornburgh’s career in government services stretched back to the 1960s. He was U.S. attorney in western Pennsylvania from 1969 to 1975, prosecuting drug traffickers, organized crime figures and corrupt politicians.
From 1975 to 1977, he was assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division, where he stepped up federal prosecutions of public corruption in the post-Watergate era.
He showed his sense of humor at events during his first gubernatorial campaign in 1978, mocking the state Legislature’s generous compensation to the tune of “My Favorite Things.” “Nice big fat paychecks and liberal pensions / Fringes and perks that we won’t even mention…” As attorney general, he referred to white-collar crime as “crime in the suites,” as opposed to streets.
When Mr. Thornburgh left the U.S. attorney general post in 1991, he made a run for U.S. Senate, losing to Harris Wofford in the general election.
The election landed Mr. Thornburgh in a courtroom in Texas, where Karl Rove, one of George W. Bush’s closest advisers, sued him to try to get back nearly $300,000 in back campaign debts. Mr. Thornburgh lost in court, appealed and eventually settled the case.
In 1992, Mr. Thornburgh accepted a top administrative job at the U.N. to fight bureaucratic excess and corruption. He left the job after his one-year contract ended, expressing frustration at inefficiency and saying the U.N. is “almost totally lacking in effective means to deal with waste, fraud and abuse by staff members.”
In recent years, Mr. Thornburgh was tapped to investigate wrongdoing in the corporate world.
In 2002, the Justice Department tapped Mr. Thornburgh to help investigate WorldCom for mismanagement, irregularities and fraud. He described the company, which made the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history, as “the poster child of corporate governance failures.”
Mr. Thornburgh was co-leader of an investigation conducted by CBS when its “60 Minutes Wednesday” program used faked documents to bolster a 2004 story that questioned George W. Bush’s Vietnam War-era military service. The probe’s damning final report led to the firing of three news executives.
Richard Lewis Thornburgh was born July 16, 1932, and grew up in Rosslyn Farms, near Pittsburgh. He trained as an engineer at Yale, seeking to follow his civil-engineer father’s footsteps, but went to law school at the University of Pittsburgh.
Upon graduation, he went to work as a corporate lawyer, later joining the law firm of Kirkpatrick and Lockhart.
Mr. Thornburgh married his childhood sweetheart, Virginia “Ginny” Hooton, in 1955. She was killed in an automobile crash in 1960 that left one of their three sons, Peter, severely brain damaged.
Three years later, Mr. Thornburgh married Ginny Judson, who raised his three sons and bore another, William. (He wrote in his memoir that “Ginny and my first wife shared not only a name but many characteristics that would no doubt have made them fast friends.”)
He said the accident was a defining moment that forced him to refocus his life on what his mission and legacy would be.
Both he and his second wife became active in programs for the disabled. In 1985, the Thornburghs were named “Family of the Year” by the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens.
Five years later, the Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law after Mr. Thornburgh played a key role in negotiating compromises with Congress.
Cause of Death
Dick Thornburgh, who as Pennsylvania governor won plaudits for his cool handling of the 1979 Three Mile Island crisis and as U.S. attorney general restored credibility to a Justice Department hurt by the Iran-Contra scandal, has died. He was 88.
Mr. Thornburgh died Thursday morning at a retirement community facility outside Pittsburgh, his son David said. The cause isn’t yet known. He suffered a mild stroke in June 2014.