Richard Thornburgh was the 41st governor of Pennsylvania from 1979 to 1987. He also served as the U.S. Attorney General from 1988 to 1991. Thornburgh played a leading role in the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act. He and his wife Ginny have taken a special interest in the needs of persons with disabilities.
About Dick Thornburgh in brief
Richard Thornburgh was the 41st governor of Pennsylvania from 1979 to 1987. He also served as the U.S. Attorney General from 1988 to 1991. Thornburgh played a leading role in the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act. He and his wife Ginny have taken a special interest in the needs of persons with disabilities and, with their son Peter, were named \”Family of the Year” in 2002. The Thornburghs 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 for the Thornburgh Family Lecture Series on Disability Law and Policy at the University of Pittsburgh. The couple have four sons, six grandchildren, and four great-granddaughters and one great- grandson. He was married to Ginny Hooton, who was killed in an automobile accident in 1960 which left Peter, the youngest of their three sons, with physical and intellectual disability. He is survived by his wife, Ginny, a former schoolteacher from New York, who holds degrees from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2002 Thornburgh received the Wiley E. Branton Award of The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs in recognition of hiscommitment to the civil rights of people with disabilities. In 1978, Thornburgh launched a campaign for governor. He won the primary over six other contenders, including Arlen Specter, who had become well known as a former Democrat who switched parties and was elected the Philadelphia County district attorney in 1965 and the more conservative David W.
Marston. Despite a Democratic majority in the commonwealth, he and Bill Scranton defeated Pittsburgh mayor Pete Flaherty and his running mate, Bob Casey. The victory was attributed in part to Thornburgh’s campaign promises to crack down on government corruption. In 1986, he was described by observers as \”one of the few authentic heroes of the panic episode of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, that took place on his own in 1986. Thornburgh won the governorship in 1986 and was re-elected in 1982. He died in a car accident in 2007 in Pennsylvania. He has been married to his wife since 1959. He had four sons and six grandchildren. He served as an elected delegate to the 1967–1968 Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention where he spearheaded efforts at judicial and local government reform. In 1969 President of the United States Richard Nixon appointed Thornburgh as the. U. S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, where he earned a reputation as being tough on organized crime. In 1971 Thornburgh successfully took Pittsburgh steel companies to court for polluting rivers based on the 1899 Refuse Act. This was before the major environmental laws that are the backbone of the EPA were passed.