Wisconsin Law Foundation: Honors four former Wisconsin governors

Contact: Kristen Durst
(608) 250-6025
kdurst@wisbar.org

Madison, WI – Four former Wisconsin Governors who are Wisconsin attorneys– Martin J. Schreiber, Anthony Earl, Tommy Thompson, and James Doyle– are this year’s co-recipients of the Wisconsin Law Foundation (WLF) Charles L. Goldberg Distinguished Service Award.

The award is given for a lifetime of service to the profession and the community. The awards were presented at the Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation Annual Recognition Dinner Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017 in Madison.

Attorney Cheryl Furstace Daniels, the president of the Wisconsin Law Foundation, presented the awards to the former Governors who were all in attendance and gave brief remarks.

“Each of these four governors had careers, as attorneys in public service, representing the residents of Wisconsin to the best of his ability. When each spoke at the ceremony, it was with dignity, humor, and humbleness about the best that attorney service for the Wisconsin citizenry has to offer, including each of them working hard to gain collegiality across the political aisles” said Daniels.

Former Governor Martin Schreiber served as the 39th Governor of Wisconsin from 1977 until 1979. Gov. Schreiber is well-known for his passion for public service. A native Milwaukeean, he grew up in politics. His father was first elected to public office in 1942. Gov. Schreiber attended Valparaiso University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has a doctorate of law from Marquette University.

First elected to the Wisconsin State Senate in 1962, Gov. Schreiber served eight years representing portions of the city of Milwaukee. He was the youngest state senator in state history, having been elected at age 23. Gov. Schreiber was elected Wisconsin’s 38th Lieutenant Governor in 1970. He became Governor of Wisconsin in 1977. Among his accomplishments while in office were significant reforms within the state civil service system, reorganization in the Wisconsin court system and creation of the Wisconsin Fund, a program to help local communities and industries develop and pay for clean water programs.

Former Governor Anthony Earl served as the 41st Governor of Wisconsin from 1983 until 1987. Gov. Earl graduated from Michigan State University in 1958 and earned a J.D. from the University of Chicago. After four years in the Navy, including two years as a legal officer, Earl moved to Wisconsin in 1965.

Gov. Earl was first elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1969. In 1974, then Governor Patrick Lucey named Earl Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration. Later, Earl became Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources where his list of accomplishments include addressing the State’s surface water pollution. Earl was elected Governor in 1983. He inherited a sizable budget deficit and high unemployment rate. Once the state was fiscally sound, he passed initiatives improving the environment, education and equal opportunity.

Former Governor Tommy Thompson served as the 42nd Governor of Wisconsin from 1987 until 2001. Gov. Thompson served as Health and Human Services Secretary from 2001 to 2005 under President George W. Bush and is one of the nation’s leading advocates for the health and welfare of all Americans. He has dedicated his professional life to public service and made state history when he was re-elected to office for a third term in 1994 and a fourth term in 1998.

Gov. Thompson began his career in public service in 1966 as a representative in Wisconsin’s state Assembly. He was elected assistant Assembly minority leader in 1973 and Assembly minority leader in 1981. He has received numerous awards for his public service. Gov. Thompson received his B.S. and J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Former Governor James Doyle, Jr. served as the 44th Governor of the state of Wisconsin from 2003 to 2011. He was the first Democratic governor in Wisconsin to be re-elected in 32 years. Gov. Doyle championed education—his spouse and mother had both been teachers—and was uncompromising in his support for stem cell research. He signed into law domestic partner benefits for state workers and took an unpopular stance against a constitutional ban on gay marriage in the middle of a re-election campaign.

Governor Doyle served three terms as Dane County district attorney from 1977 to 1982. After leaving that office, he spent eight years building his own private law practice, handling a wide range of civil and criminal cases. Gov. Doyle was elected Wisconsin Attorney General in 1990, and during his 12 years as Attorney General he was considered tough on crime, but not unsympathetic to its causes. Doyle was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Madison. He is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a law degree from Harvard University in 1972.

The Charles L. Goldberg Distinguished Service Award is the Wisconsin Law Foundation’s highest honor. The Goldberg Award recognizes a lawyer for lifetime service to the legal profession and to the public. Nominations for the award are judged based upon their accomplishments in the law, service to the profession and service to the community as a whole over an entire career.

The Wisconsin Law Foundation (WLF), founded in 1951, is the charitable arm of the State Bar of Wisconsin. WLF is a charitable and educational organization that promotes public understanding of the law, improvement of the administration of justice and other law-related public service through funding of innovative and creative programs that improve the vision of the American justice systems.

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