Former Senator Herb Kohl Dies at 88

( – Herb Kohl, the former United States senator and Wisconsin native, died at the age of 88. His foundation, Herb Kohl Philanthropies, announced his death on Wednesday, stating that he succumbed to a brief illness; however, the cause of death was not disclosed.

A former owner of the Milwaukee Bucks NBA team and a respected figure in Wisconsin, Kohl took measures to prevent the team’s relocation. He generously supported civic and educational causes across the state with his fortune. He funded his Senate campaigns with personal resources, presenting himself as “nobody’s senator but yours.”

According to the Herb Kohl Foundation, Kohl and his siblings have continued their father’s legacy by establishing over 50 Kohl’s superstores in the Midwest, which later expanded nationwide.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expressed his deep friendship with Kohl in a statement, highlighting that Kohl acquired the Bucks in 1985, securing the team’s presence in Milwaukee as a vital community asset. Kohl later sold the team in 2014.

Silver’s statement further reads, “In 1985, when there was a risk of the Milwaukee Bucks moving and being sold, Herb stepped in and bought the team. He promised fans that the team would stay in the city, and when he eventually sold it, he fulfilled that promise by donating $100 million to help build a new community arena.”

Kohl stood out as an unusual figure in the Senate, known for its strong personalities. He was quiet and avoided seeking credit but proved effective on crucial state matters, particularly dairy policy. As one of the wealthiest senators, he was also the sole owner of a professional sports team in the Senate.

Kohl and Bud Selig were childhood friends and shared a room at the University of Wisconsin, remaining close friends for many years. Meanwhile, Selig went on to become baseball commissioner.

According to the foundation, after his university graduation, the late Senator received an MBA from prestigious Harvard University and later enlisted in the Army Reserve.

Joanne Anton, a spokesperson for Herb Kohl Philanthropies, said, “The Herb Kohl Way truly captures a legacy of kindness, compromise, sacrifice, humility, and commitment toward the many individuals he worked with, served, and helped throughout his journey.”

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