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Former Gov. Dick Thornburgh Dies at 88

Source: Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy

Former Gov. Dick Thornburgh died at a retirement community facility outside of Pittsburgh at the age of 88 on Dec. 31, according to the AP. The cause of his death is not yet known.

Thornburgh, a Republican, was first elected governor in 1978 by besting Democratic Pittsburgh Mayor Pete Flaherty. Thornburgh secured a second term as governor in 1982 by fending off a challenge from Democratic Rep. Allen Ertel. 

Thornburgh was appointed as the U.S. Attorney General by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. He remained the U.S. Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush until 1991. He made a bid for the U.S. Senate in 1992, but lost to Democrat Harris Wofford. 

Gov. Tom Wolf and many Pennsylvania elected officials shared his condolence through social media. 

“Governor Dick Thornburgh was an unequaled public servant who devoted his life to caring for the people of our commonwealth and our nation,” Wolf said in a statement. 

“Governor Thornburgh served two terms as governor of Pennsylvania, and calm, grounded leadership was a hallmark of his governorship,” Wolf continued. “He guided Pennsylvania through a tumultuous period in our commonwealth’s history following the partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power station. His was a necessary and steady voice of calm in the midst of crisis.”

“Gov. Thornburgh led PA and Dept. of Justice successfully and with integrity. The steady nature in which he guided PA through the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island should serve as an example for all elected officials,” Toomey tweeted on Thursday. “I extend my condolences to Gov. Thornburgh’s family.”

“Terese and I were saddened to learn today of the passing of Dick Thornburgh, a former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Governor of Pennsylvania, U.S. Attorney General, and friend. Our Commonwealth and our country are better for his distinguished service,” Casey wrote in a tweet. “Together with the entire Casey family, we send our deepest condolences to Ginny, his four sons, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered the U.S. and Commonwealth flags on all commonwealth facilities, public buildings, and grounds fly at half-staff to honor his passing.

3 Responses

  1. Gov Thornburgh had a distinguished career and even well into it he helped resolve the Penn State sanction era fairly. The challenges in his political career that were dealt with honorably. Public service was public service and not self service for Gov Thronburgh.

  2. Governor Thornburgh was a good man who showed real leadership during the Three Mile Island crisis. Prayers to his family.

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