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Gov. Evers orders flags to half-staff, Wisconsin officials, President Biden, honor life of former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl

MADISON, Wis. —Political and business leaders throughout Wisconsin and the country praised the former Wisconsin Senator and business man Herb Kohl who died Wednesday at 88 following a brief illness, Kohl was elected to the Senate in the late 1980s, but prior to that, he was best known in Wisconsin for purchasing the Milwaukee Bucks in 1985, helping keep the NBA team in the city in the process.

President Joe Biden released a statement following his passing that said the late former Democratic Wisconsin Senator was “one of the finest people” he’d ever served with in the U.S. Senate.

Biden went on to say “Herb and I served together in the Senate for 20 years, including on the Judiciary Committee. We worked together to pass the most significant gun safety bill in history; to boost funding for community policing; and to support juvenile justice programs that helped to significantly reduce juvenile crime, while giving millions of young people a better shot at life. Throughout his career, Herb was unafraid to stand up to the business community that he’d come from, seeking to level the playing field for workers and make our economy more efficient and fair. Time and again, he fought for farmers and food safety; for affordable health care, childcare, education, and prescription drugs; staying committed to the hard work of compromise on behalf the American people. Above all, he cared about the people he served – his employees, his customers, his constituents, and his country.”

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released a statement saying “Herb was my role model. Herb was a true public servant, leading with compassion and humility, and uncompromising in putting Wisconsin first. It didn’t matter how powerful the opposing forces were or how long the fight was, Herb was willing to take on any challenge if it meant a brighter future for Wisconsin. Herb was as generous as they come – with his resources, his knowledge, his time, and his heart. Wisconsin is lucky to have had Herb Kohl in our corner and we are undoubtedly a better, more just place because of his service. He truly was nobody’s senator but ours. My heart goes out to his family, loved ones, and the entire Badger State as we mourn the loss of a Wisconsin giant.”

State Senator Brad Pfaff who served on Kohl’s staff said “I am sad to hear of the passing of US Senator Herb Kohl. I loved the man. I learned so much from Senator Kohl. I’m humbled to have known him and had the opportunity to serve on his staff. He left a lasting impact on all of us. I was proud to travel the state with him, and I will never forget his visit to my family’s farm in northern La Crosse County. He was a mentor, a friend, and a proud representative of the people of Wisconsin. He was nobody’s Senator but ours. His leadership always put the people of Wisconsin first, and he will be missed.”

Gov. Tony Evers ordered the flags of the United States and the state of Wisconsin to be flown at half-staff beginning Thurs., Dec. 28, 2023, until the date of interment for former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl. Gov. Evers yesterday released the following statement regarding U.S. Sen. Kohl’s passing.  

“A Milwaukeean and Wisconsinite through and through, U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl dedicated his life to serving our kids, our communities, our state, and our country. Sen. Kohl was, without a doubt, nobody’s senator but ours. Kathy and I are devastated by the news of his passing. Sen. Kohl was deeply committed to community, kindness, and service to others. Wisconsin’s seniors, students, teachers, and schools, and farmers and rural areas, among so many others, are better off because of his life and legacy, the impacts of which will last for generations. Kathy and I join the people of Wisconsin, friends and colleagues of Sen. Kohl, and the many people whose lives he impacted—both near and far—in offering our sincerest condolences to the Kohl family and the Herb Kohl Foundation in mourning the loss of this Wisconsin giant.”

Services for former U.S. Sen. Kohl are set to occur at a future date in January. Executive Order #219 will be in effect beginning on Dec. 28, 2023, until interment.

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