Herb Kohl, an ex-U.S. senator and former proprietor of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, passed away at the age of 88, as stated by his philanthropic organization on Wednesday.
Herb Kohl, a Democratic senator representing Wisconsin, served in the Senate from 1989 to 2013. Back in 1985, he purchased the Milwaukee Bucks for $18 million and subsequently, in 2014, divested the team to Wes Edens and Marc Lasry for $550 million.
“More than anything, Herb loved Milwaukee and Wisconsin, and that is where he chose to live out his days. He touched an incalculable number of lives, and those who love him would remark that he is among the most decent people to ever walk the earth,” Herb Khol Philanthropies stated.
While at the helm of the Bucks, Kohl supervised numerous playoff-contending teams, yet the organization did not achieve the opportunity to compete in the NBA Finals. Notable NBA figures such as Vin Baker, Ray Allen, Michael Redd, Gary Payton, and Andrew Bogut were part of the team during Kohl’s tenure.
Entering the political arena in the 1970s, Kohl assumed the role of chair for the state Democratic Party from 1975 to 1977. Throughout his political journey, he chaired the Special Committee on Aging and held the position of vice chairman on the Committee on the Judiciary. Achieving success at the polls, Kohl secured victory in four elections during his political career.
Contributing significantly to philanthropy, Kohl allocated $25 million to the University of Wisconsin to support the construction of the Kohl Center. Additionally, he utilized his personal wealth to establish the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation.
Remaining unmarried, Kohl expressed that his single status was a deliberate choice to ensure unwavering dedication to the responsibilities associated with his role in the U.S. Senate and ownership of the Bucks.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated, “Through his purchase of the team, Senator Kohl ensured that the Bucks would stay in Milwaukee and remain an important pillar of the community. There was never any doubt about his extraordinary commitment to the franchise and city that he loved, and his vision and unparalleled financial contribution towards a new arena in Milwaukee will forever be remembered. He will be deeply missed by his NBA family.”