Dick Thornburgh Biography — Wiki
Dick Thornburgh is the former US Attorney General 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. He has reportedly died at the age of 88.
Thornburgh died Thursday morning at a retirement community facility outside Pittsburgh, his son David said.
Dick Thornburgh Age
Dick Thornburgh was 88 years old at the time of death.
Dick Thornburgh Death and Cause of Death
Richard “Dick” Thornburgh has died at age 88, according to an announcement from the Pennsylvania governor’s office. In honor of Thornburgh, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday ordered the US and Pennsylvania flags on all commonwealth facilities, public buildings, and grounds to fly at half-staff immediately.
The cause is not yet known. He suffered a mild stroke in June 2014.
Dick Thornburgh, U.S. attorney general and governor of Pennsylvania, has died at age 88. As governor, Thornburgh won plaudits for his cool handling of the 1979 Three Mile Island crisis. As attorney general he prosecuted the savings and loan scandal.https://t.co/h8EWjl2lcG
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 31, 2020
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Dick Thornburgh Early Life, Education Family Background
Dick 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.
Dick Thornburgh Wife, Children
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, 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 Thornburgh played a key role in negotiating compromises with Congress.
Dick Thornburgh Career and Services
Dick Thornburgh built his reputation as a crime-busting federal prosecutor in Pittsburgh and as a moderate Republican governor. As the nation’s top law enforcement official, he prosecuted the savings and loan scandal. He also shepherded the Americans with Disabilities Act; one of his sons had been severely brain-damaged in an auto accident.
“I’ve always had an opportunity to right a vessel that was somewhat listing and taking on water,” he told The Associated Press in 1999. “I wouldn’t object to being characterized as a ‘Mr. Fix It.’ I’ve liked the day-in, day-out challenges of governance.”
President Ronald Reagan appointed Thornburgh attorney general in the waning months of his administration.
In recent years, Thornburgh was tapped to investigate wrongdoing in the corporate world.
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.