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Herb Kohl, Senator, Milwaukee Bucks Owner Dead 88

"Former U.S. Senator and Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl Dies at 88, Remembered as 'Kind, Effective, and Generous' by Colleagues."

Herb Kohl, a former U.S. Democratic senator who represented Wisconsin and also served as owner of the Milwaukee Bucks and a co-founder of the Kohl's department store chain, died Wednesday at the age of 88 after a brief illness. His passing was announced in a press release by the Herb Kohl Foundation.

"Herb answered a call to public service in 1988 and ran for the United States Senate with a commitment to being 'nobody's Senator but yours' and working across party lines for the people of the state he loved. He served 24 years in the Senate and following his retirement devoted his energies to continuing a lifetime commitment to philanthropic work through the Herb Kohl Foundation," the statement read.

According to his biography on the foundation's website, the Milwaukee-born-and-raised Kohl helped develop his family-owned Kohl's grocery and department stores before serving in the U.S. Senate from 1989 to 2013. He started the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation in 1990 to recognize Wisconsin students, teachers, and schools with grants to support educational achievement. In 2015, he created a new award to recognize outstanding Wisconsin school principals and increased the size of scholarships to students and fellowships to teachers. Since its inception, the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation has awarded nearly $18.5 million in grants and scholarships to more than 7,670 people.

Kohl has also been credited for bringing the Bucks to Milwaukee in 1968, said the foundation. He purchased the team in 1985 so that the franchise would stay in the city before selling it in 2014. Kohl also gave $25 million to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1995 to build a new sports arena, which was named the Kohl Center.

In its statement, the Milwaukee Bucks said of Kohl following his passing: "Senator Kohl was a lifelong and proud Wisconsinite who cared deeply for his state and the city of Milwaukee. As the Bucks owner, he was steadfast in making sure the team remained in the city and his generosity led to the building of Fiserv Forum, which is on Herb Kohl Way. Even after selling the team, Senator Kohl loved the Bucks and was always seen in his team cap around town."

Notable politicians also paid tribute to Kohl, among them Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, who wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter: "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."

Former President Bill Clinton also said: "Herb Kohl was a great public servant who cared deeply about the people of Wisconsin and their future. He was a kind man, an effective senator, a dedicated NBA team owner, and a generous philanthropist. I'll always be grateful to have the chance to know him and work closely with him."

"Herb Kohl was that amazing combination of thoughtful, kind, effective, down-to-Earth, and incisive," said New York Senator Chuck Schumer. " He was a great friend of mine from the day I entered the Senate. My thoughts are with Herb's family and loved ones."

Incumbent Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin released a statement on Kohl: "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."

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