Former Milwaukee Bucks owner and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) has died at the age of 88 after a brief illness.
The Herb Kohl Foundation announced his passing Wednesday afternoon, memorializing him as someone who “always put people first.”
“Throughout his life, Herb Kohl always put people first — from his employees and their families to his customers and countless charitable organizations and efforts,” JoAnne Anton, director of giving for Herb Kohl Philanthropies, recalled. “Herb Kohl Way isn’t just the name of a street in front of the Fiserv Forum. The Herb Kohl Way perfectly sums up a legacy of humility, commitment, compromise, and kindness to countless people he worked with, served and helped along the way. Those values will live on through his Foundation.”
Kohl, who grew up in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood, according to TMJ4 News, joined the Army Reserve after graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1956 and earning a Master of Business Administration from Harvard in 1958.
Following his graduation from Harvard, Kohl enrolled in the United States Army Reserve, of which he was a member between 1958 and 1964.
Aside from his career in the Senate, Kohl opened and built a chain of more than 50 Kohl’s grocery stores across the Midwest with his brothers, becoming a retail shopping magnate. Kohl’s family opened the first Kohl’s department store in 1962.
Kohl bought the Milwaukee Bucks when the NBA team was up for sale and could have been moved to a new city. In the wake of the purchase, Kohl promised the fans the team would never leave, according to reports.
After serving as the chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party between 1975 and 1977, Kohl ran for the United States Senate in 1988 and served 24 years in the upper chamber. Kohl then retired and resumed philanthropic efforts through the Herb Kohl Foundation.
Kohl started his foundation in 1990, which has awarded more than $33 million to Wisconsin educators, students and schools as of August 2022, according to the foundation’s website.
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