Herb Kohl, a former Democratic U.S. senator from Wisconsin and former owner of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team, has died. He was 88.

Who was Herb Kohl?

Herb Kohl, a prominent figure in American politics and philanthropy, passed away, marking the end of a storied life dedicated to public service and community development. Born on February 7, 1935, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Kohl’s journey unfolded over decades, leaving an indelible mark on Wisconsin’s political landscape.

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Kohl’s foray into politics began when he was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1988, succeeding William Proxmire. During his tenure, Kohl became known for his commitment to issues such as consumer protection, antitrust legislation, and education. His pragmatic approach and bipartisan collaborations earned him respect across the political spectrum.

Before entering national politics, Kohl was a successful businessman, notably as the owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, an NBA team. His passion for basketball translated into a significant contribution to sports in Wisconsin. Kohl’s ownership preserved the team’s presence in Milwaukee, endearing him to sports enthusiasts.

In 2012, after four terms in the Senate, Kohl announced his decision not to seek reelection, concluding a distinguished political career. His departure left a void that many recognized as a loss for Wisconsin and the nation.

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Beyond politics, Herb Kohl was a dedicated philanthropist. In 2001, he pledged $25 million to fund a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, showcasing his commitment to both sports and the local community.

News of Herb Kohl’s passing prompted an outpouring of tributes, emphasizing his contributions to public life and his enduring impact on Wisconsin. Colleagues and constituents remembered him as a statesman who prioritized the needs of the people he served.