Ex-Senator and Bucks Owner Dies at 88

(UnitedHeadlines.com) – On Dec. 27, former Democratic U.S. senator Herb Kohl, 88, died following a “brief illness.”

The former owner of the NBA team the Milwaukee Bucks, Kohl grew up in Milwaukee. In 1946, his dad, Maxwell Kohl, founded Kohl’s Food Stores. The stores expanded across the area, and in 1962, they became the first Kohl’s department stores. In 1970, Herb Kohl became president of the company, which was sold in 1972 to British American Tobacco. He worked in management at the company until 1979.

During the 1970s, he got into politics, serving from 1975 to 1977 as the chair of the state Democratic Party. He served as vice chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary and as the chair of the Special Committee on Aging. Kohl was elected to serve four terms as a U.S. senator, from 1989 through 2013, before stepping aside.

In 1985, he purchased the Milwaukee Bucks from John Fitzgerald for $18 million, and, in 2014, he sold the franchise for $550 million to New York financiers Marc Lasry and Wes Edens. After he sold the team, Kohl contributed $100 million toward constructing a new arena for the team, the Fiserv Forum.

Kohl donated $25 million for the construction of the Kohl Center in the 1990s, which hosts the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s basketball and hockey teams. In 1990, he founded the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation, which supports educational achievement through grants offered to students, teachers and schools.

In announcing his death, Herb Kohl Philanthropies director of giving JoAnne Anton stated that he “always put people first.” She added that Kohl leaves a “legacy of humility, commitment, compromise, and kindness.”

Milwaukee mayor Cavalier Johnson said “His humility was notable.” He added that Kohl would be “remembered for his friendliness and generosity.”

In a statement, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Kohl was “a dear friend and one of our very best public servants.”

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