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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 22, 2021 02:22 PM
From: Representative Greg Rothman
To: All House members
Subject: Condolence Resolution Honoring Former Governor Richard "Dick" Thornburgh
Next week, I will be introducing a condolence resolution honoring the service and legacy of former two term Republican Governor, Richard “Dick” Thornburgh, who passed away Thursday, December 31, 2020 at the age of 88. 
Thornburgh grew up in Rosslyn Farms, near Pittsburgh. He attended Yale and acquired a degree in engineering and then achieved a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He had a long -lasting political career, beginning with a bid for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1966.  The loss did not deter him, as he was elected to serve as a delegate to the 1967-68 Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention where he led efforts at judicial and local government reform.  His exposure led to him being appointed as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District in Pennsylvania, earning him a reputation for prosecution of organized crime.
In 1975, President Gerald Ford appointed Thornburgh to serve as the Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department.  He served in this position for two years before returning home to Pittsburgh and in his quest to campaign for Governor of Pennsylvania.  Defeating six other candidates in the primary, a successful campaign led to his nomination; subsequently, serving as Governor from 1979 to 1987.
As Governor of Pennsylvania, he notably streamlined the state government’s finances.  He became recognized worldwide in March of 1979 when the worst nuclear accident in American history occurred at the Three Mile Island power plant. He was recognized for his levelheaded leadership during the 10-day crisis, which began a mere 71 days after he was sworn in as Governor. 
Following his service as Governor, he was U.S. Attorney General under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. As Attorney General, he achieved the distinguished accomplishment of having argued and won two cases before the United States Supreme Court.  He notably served under five Presidents throughout his career in the Justice Department. 
He was an essential advocate in the achievement of The Americans with Disabilities Act.
Richard Lewis Thornburgh was born July 16, 1932.  He was preceded in death by his first wife Ginny Hooton and parents Alice (Sanborn) and Charles Garland Thornburgh.  He is survived by his wife, Ginny (Judson), four sons John, David, Peter, and Bill, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. 
Please join me in cosponsoring a resolution recognizing the life and accomplishments of a man who was proud to serve as Governor of Pennsylvania.

Introduced as HR27