Herb Kohl, former U.S. Senator.
Former president and owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Public servant, philanthropist, businessman and professional sports team owner. All four accurately describe Herb Kohl, who begins his 29th season as president and owner of the Milwaukee Bucks organization. Kohl purchased the team on March 1, 1985 from Jim Fitzgerald, ensuring it would remain in Milwaukee.
“From the very beginning, my association with the Bucks has been a wonderful experience,” Kohl remarked. “Wherever I go, people come up to me and talk about the team. The opportunity I was given to purchase and to keep the team here in Milwaukee is one of the most unique and fortunate experiences I’ve ever enjoyed.”
In 1988, Kohl was elected to a six-‐year term as Wisconsin’s 25th United States Senator, and he would go on to serve four terms in office. Having announced he would not seek re-‐election, Senator Kohl completed 24 years of public service at the end of 2012.
A Milwaukee native who grew up in the Sherman Park neighborhood, Kohl has maintained a lifetime commitment to his home city and state. He attended Sherman Elementary School and Milwaukee Washington High School. Kohl graduated from the University of Wisconsin-‐Madison in 1956,
and went on to earn a Master’s degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration in 1958. Kohl served in the Army Reserve from 1958-‐64.
From 1959-‐69, Kohl served in many capacities with the then family-‐owned Kohl Corporation, operators of grocery and department stores. His parents had built their first Kohl’s Food Market in the late ’20s, and from that inauspicious beginning, grew the business into one of the Midwest’s leading grocery and department store chains. Kohl was president from 1970 through the sale of the corporation by the family in 1979, and the Kohl’s Department Stores have now expanded throughout the United States.
After years of involvement in public affairs in Wisconsin, having served as general chairman of Milwaukee’s United Way campaign and state chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, Kohl decided to run for the United States Senate seat vacated by William Proxmire. He was first elected to a six-‐year term in 1988, re-‐elected in November of 1994, in November of 2000, and again in November of 2006. His fourth and final term expired at the end of the 112th Congress on January 3, 2013.
Involved in a vast array of community-‐minded projects, Kohl has consistently championed the cause of education. He established the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship and Fellowship Award Program in 1990. As of August 2013, the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation has awarded a total of $8.6 million to Wisconsin educators, students and schools.
With a life-‐long interest in sports, Kohl was one of 10 original investors in the Milwaukee Brewers, and he also initiated negotiations with then NBA commissioner Walter Kennedy, which ultimately led to the granting of a franchise in January of 1968 to a group of Milwaukee investors.
Kohl’s interest in sports does not stop at the professional level. In April of 1995, Kohl donated $25 million to his alma mater to help provide a state-‐of-‐the-‐art new home for the University of Wisconsin-‐Madison men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as the men’s hockey team.
“I was very happy to be in a position to help build a first-‐rate, state-‐of-‐the-‐art sports arena,”said Kohl. “I think it enhances the university’s reputation as one of the premier athletic programs in the Big Ten and the country.”
Recognized for his many efforts, Kohl has received numerous awards from throughout the state of Wisconsin, including: the 2013 Fellowship Open Legends Award from the Fellowship Open, one of the country’s largest diversity charity golf outings, for his contributions in government service, business and in philanthropy; induction into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007; an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Ripon College in 1999; Best Corporate Citizen of 1997 by Madison Magazine; the “Kiwanis Milwaukee Award” in 1987; an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Cardinal Stritch College of Milwaukee in 1986; the Greater Milwaukee Convention and Visitors Bureau “Lamplighter Award” in 1986; named “Humanitarian of the Year” in 1986 by the Wisconsin Parkinson Association; “Wisconsin Sports Personality of the Year” in 1985 by the Milwaukee Pen and Mike Club; and the “Joe Killeen Memorial Sportsman of the Year” in 1985 by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.
Content referencing Herb Kohl
More than $350,000 in initial gifts will support programming, infrastructure projects and long-term multi-park improvement campaigns that focus on racial equity across Milwaukee CountyNov 25th, 2019 by Milwaukee County Parks.
As of Dec. 31, 2018, the Foundation’s assets totaled $833 million, based on preliminary figures.Feb 5th, 2019 by Greater Milwaukee Foundation
Wisconsin Philanthropy Network provides a pulse on the state’s philanthropic sector in new reportNov 16th, 2018 by Wisconsin Philanthropy Network
Maggie Gau, Governor-Elect Evers’ campaign manager, will become Governor-Elect Evers’ Chief of Staff.Nov 12th, 2018 by Gov. Tony Evers
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and The Yabuki Family Foundation join 31 new sponsors. This is the largest increase in cash and in-kind support in the organization’s history.Sep 25th, 2018 by Milwaukee Film
Backline Selects First Four Musicians for 12-Week Accelerator Mentorship Program Including $20,000 Grants
Music-Industry Pros Select Backline Artists After 340 Applications ReceivedSep 7th, 2018 by gener8tor
3-to-1 return on investment for the State of WisconsinAug 26th, 2018 by Gov. Scott Walker
A groundbreaking event is scheduled for Friday, August 24th at 1:30 pm at Harbor View Plaza (600 E. Greenfield Ave.)Aug 15th, 2018 by Harbor District
George Christenson is the second County Clerk to endorse Tony Evers.Jul 2nd, 2018 by Gov. Tony Evers
A Night to Unite features a cocktail hour, raffle and live auction, dinner, and an awards program.Jun 7th, 2018 by Safe & Sound
After four unsuccessful runs for office, will this be Flynn's year?Jun 7th, 2018 by Shawn Johnson
Milwaukee-Area Musicians Encouraged to Apply Now Through June 25 for First Backline Accelerator Session and $20,000 Grants
Four Bands or Artists to Be Selected for Backline’s Intensive 12-Week Mentorship ProgramJun 5th, 2018 by 88Nine Radio Milwaukee
"'m grateful to Senator Herb Kohl for endorsing my candidacy for Wisconsin's Supreme Court."Mar 7th, 2018 by Rebecca Dallet
The substantial investment in community development includes $52 million in charitable funds supporting the development of the downtown arena project, as directed by Sen. Herb Kohl.Jan 30th, 2018 by Greater Milwaukee Foundation
Evers has also already received the endorsement of former US Senator Herb Kohl, former Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton, former Rep. Steve Kagen MD, and nearly a dozen current and former legislators.Jan 10th, 2018 by Gov. Tony Evers
Gift supports the revitalization of neighborhood parks across MilwaukeeNov 16th, 2017 by Ald. Michael Murphy
"Moving Milwaukee County forward is going to take new leaders willing to work together, even if they don't always agree."Oct 25th, 2017 by Casey Shorts
Statement of Alderman Cavalier Johnson - October 23, 2017Oct 23rd, 2017 by Common Council President Cavalier Johnson
Presenting Sponsor, Associated Bank, expands partnership through Milwaukee Film Checking 30 new sponsors provide increase of $301,000 in cash & in-kind supportAug 31st, 2017 by Milwaukee Film
Milwaukee Bucks and Sixteenth Street share commitment to improving outcomes for Milwaukee’s most vulnerableJun 20th, 2017 by Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers
Professional and Non-Professional Arts Groups Both to Be Awarded at Footlights Performing Arts Awards
The results will be announced at the live awards ceremony June 22, 2017 at Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s Quadracci Powerhouse.Apr 17th, 2017 by Footlights
MPS principal, students, teachers are honoredMar 16th, 2017 by Milwaukee Public Schools
Team will play at new 3,500-seat arena to be developed in downtown OshkoshFeb 8th, 2017 by Milwaukee Bucks
Foundation donors expanded their philanthropy by contributing more than $43 million to Foundation funds in 2016.Jan 30th, 2017 by Greater Milwaukee Foundation
Features keynote on “Being Rad for Social Change” by New York Times bestselling author Kate Schatz. Thursday, October 20, 2016 at the Italian Conference CenterSep 26th, 2016 by Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee
District Attorney John Chisholm earns support of community leaders, elected officials, labor unions, citizen organizations, and law enforcement groups
Chisholm, a veteran of the United States Army, was first elected in 2006 after serving 12 years as an assistant prosecutor, including leading the gun unit.Aug 5th, 2016 by John Chisholm
These investments build on increased demand for Y programs, expanded community partnerships and continuous improvements to the Y’s operating model.Jun 29th, 2016 by YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee
Oscar Robertson, Jabari Parker, Bucks owners and elected officials all scheduled to attendJun 8th, 2016 by Milwaukee Bucks
“John Chisholm has proven to be an innovative and effective leader as District Attorney,” said Senator Kohl.Jun 1st, 2016 by John Chisholm
Democratic Party Leaders Herb Kohl, Jim Doyle and Mary Burke stand with AbeleMar 30th, 2016 by County Executive Chris Abele
Midwest-headquartered firm an industry-leader in sports construction and visible part of the Milwaukee community for over 30 yearsMar 21st, 2016 by Milwaukee Bucks
“I am honored to have the support of a tremendous leader like Senator Kohl in my race for the high court,” said Judge Donald.Sep 28th, 2015 by Joe Donald
"Bad Debt Not a Revenue Stream"Jun 15th, 2015 by Patricia Jursik
That's about $150,000 for each of the 380 bills that became law.Feb 17th, 2015 by Bill Lueders
His “$100 million gift” to Greater Milwaukee Foundation will gain him huge tax break for supporting new NBA arena.Dec 18th, 2014 by Bruce Murphy
The longtime Democratic Senator endorsed Tia because of her commitment to voters.Aug 7th, 2014 by Tia Torhorst
MMAC organized event to sell NBA arena, but speakers from Cleveland, Denver and OKC said Millenials want transit, too.Jul 18th, 2014 by Jeramey Jannene
Leaders of Wisconsin Center and the Bradley Center consider key changes for downtown facilities.May 15th, 2014 by Michael Horne
Group serves notice: any plan for new arena must include $200 million for children's playgrounds and athletic fields.Apr 29th, 2014 by Brendan O’Brien
If not for an obnoxiously insistent mayor, the Bradley Center would have been built in the Menomonee Valley.Apr 18th, 2014 by Michael Horne
Supervisor David Bowen released the following statement regarding Herb Kohl's generosity to the communityApr 17th, 2014 by State Rep. David Bowen
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele released the following statement about the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks.Apr 16th, 2014 by County Executive Chris Abele
Milwaukee Bucks President and Owner Herb Kohl Introduces New Team Ownership and Announces $100 Million Gift for Arena
Herb Kohl, Milwaukee Bucks President and Owner, today announced that he has entered into a signed purchase agreement to transfer ownership of the Bucks to Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry.Apr 16th, 2014 by Press Release
Arts/Industry: Collaboration and Revelation on view March 23–August 31, 2014 at John Michael Kohler Arts Center
The Arts/Industry residency program, often touted as the most unusual and successful ongoing collaboration nationwide between art and industry, celebrates 40 years with a sweeping exhibitionMar 17th, 2014 by John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Milwaukee Bucks President/Owner Herb Kohl Announces Plan to Broaden Team Ownership, Strengthen the Franchise and Keep the Team in Milwaukee
Senator Herb Kohl issued the following statement todayDec 16th, 2013 by Herb Kohl
Study by Common Ground also demands children's facilities be fixed as part of any deal for new Bucks arena.Jun 27th, 2013 by Brendan O’Brien
No new Bucks arena without fixing schools' rundown fields and inadequate recreation facilities, says Common Ground.Apr 26th, 2013 by Shakara Robinson
Awards net students, staff and schools $15,000Mar 15th, 2013 by Milwaukee Public Schools
American politics today is bursting at the seams with money, and most of it is donated anonymously. That lack of transparency is troubling to Alderman Michael J. Murphy and to members of the Common Council.Aug 17th, 2012 by Ald. Michael Murphy
Herb Kohl’s Arena Commitment, The Second Downtown Strip Club, Northwestern Mutual’s New Downtown Building, and More
This week's Eyes on Milwaukee column explores Herb Kohl's commitment to a new arena, the idea of another downtown strip club, Northwestern Mutual's potential new downtown building, and a whole lot more.May 9th, 2012 by Jeramey Jannene
The Wisconsin state budget is now at a point where it will go to a conference committee after the Senate approved their version of the budget yesterday. The conference committee will reconcile the difference between the Assembly and Senate versions, and send the budget off to Governor Doyle. Doyle will then use his line-item veto power on certain language he doesn't like, and Wisconsin have a budget.Jun 18th, 2009 by Jeramey Jannene
The Milwaukee circulator streetcar is moving forward, but there is still confusion in the mind of many. We've covered the issue in the past, but this article attempts to bring everything together in one place, the history, the frequently asked questions, and the proposed route.Apr 19th, 2009 by Jeramey Jannene
UrbanMilwaukee would like to issue you a challenge. With the announcement that Mayor Tom Barrett with the help of Congressman David Obey and Senator Herb Kohl managed to get 60% of the $91.5 million for his streetcar vision, it’s time to think about what the final route may be. There is a simple reality any Milwaukee streetcar proposal must deal with though, there is only enough money for an initial 3 miles. So here’s the game. 1. Create a Google Account or use an existing one. 2. Create a route (not longer than 3 miles) using Google Maps. Don’t know how to do this? There is an introductory video. 3. Paste a link to your route in the comments of this post. 4. Wait until Wednesday afternoon, at that point we’ll put together a poll so we can vote for the best one. Can’t wait to see what you come up with, whether it’s a line to Bay View or UWM, or perhaps a completely different loop around downtown.Mar 23rd, 2009 by Jeramey Jannene
The second phase of the Milwaukee Intermodal Station's re-development received a boost recently, when Senator Kohl included $1.5 million for the Milwaukee Intermodal Station in an appropriations bill funding the Department of Transportation in 2009.Jul 14th, 2008 by Dave Reid
On Christmas Day, Saturday, December 25th, 2004, the solemnity of the Death Notices was interrupted.Dec 27th, 2004 by Michael Horne
Senator John Kerry paid another visit to Milwaukee on Monday, August 2nd at a public rally in Pere Marquette Park. Gates to the park opened at 4:30 p.m. while the presidential candidate was still racing across Lake Michigan on the Lake Express ferry. Access to Kerry these days requires a thorough screening by security personnel, so by 6 p.m. a line stretched from Plankinton and Kilbourn, the park’s entrance, across the river to the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, at which point it headed north, wrapped itself around the building, headed east on E. State Street and finally tapered off at N. Edison Street. For pictures click here. The line moved slowly as security guards checked the attendees, emptied pockets, etc. Once inside the secure enclosure, the crowd was able to buy bottled water and pizza from Amazon Pizza, a fun new spot on W. Wells St. However, many people never made it to the security screening, and they simply camped out along the riverfront, enjoying the event from the Marcus Center riverwalk. It made for a nice sight for cameras, since Candidate Kerry, speaking from a raised platform on the north end of the park, would gesture from time to time toward those on the distant shore. Alas, milwaukeeworld had almost resigned itself to distant coverage of the event, but as it turns out there was a special entrance to the event, and we designed to make it ours. Joe Klein and I headed to Kilbourn and N. Third Street where an officer was in place to tell us that we could not advance to the press table set up in our sight, but out of our reach. Meanwhile, he waved in such prominent figures as Sen. Herb Kohl, Rep. Sheldon Wasserman, Steve Marcus and others, all of whom had red tickets, while we had none. Providentially, Margaret Henningsen showed up on the scene with an extra red ticket, which we begged for and received. The red ticket made us legit for the officer, and we proceeded through our screening, after watching several of the people mentioned above get screened themselves. (Steve Marcus does not look like a guy who gets frisked a lot.) Inside the gates of the special section, where the red-ticketed people go, we were treated to a fascinating caste system in which our “Kerry Edwards From Sea to Shining Sea Believe in America Tour” Press pass marked us as scum. The real media stars, and there were dozens of them, were members of the “Traveling Press.” The Traveling Press spends its time apart from the regular press, and they dine together in a fancy tent. The food was from Chef Pat’s catering. Pat Houlihan said the campaign kept changing its meal plans, but he settled on roast pork sandwiches, a couple of salads, pretzels, soft drinks and Miller Beer. The Traveling Press drinks very little beer, which in the end turned out to be a blessing for Chef Pat’s weary and thirsty crew. The […]Aug 3rd, 2004 by Michael Horne
Marvin Pratt did not stand up with the crowd when Tom Barrett was inaugurated mayor, and the press has made a good deal of the slight. However, just after Judge Louis Butler administered the oath of office to the new mayor, Barrett’s first comments were to commend Pratt, and the former acting mayor did stand up and take a bow. The ceremonies were held April 20th outside of City Hall in some perfectly dreadful Milwaukee spring weather. So, who was the idiot who came up with that idea? “I’m the idiot who thought to hold it outside,” fessed up Kris Martinsek. After all, the president is inaugurated outdoors in January. However, January in Washington is not nearly as unpleasant as Milwaukee in April. The stage was set up on Wells Street, facing east. Upon the stage sat Milwaukee’s new leaders, including the mayor, the common council, the comptroller, treasurer, city attorney, city clerk and a municipal judge. Their families sat out in the street and in the adjacent park next to the Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building. Frank P. Zeidler was there himself, sandwiched between Marvin Pratt and Senator Herb Kohl. Kohl was dressed as he always is around here. He wore a shirt, a tie, a Milwaukee Bucks cap and a windbreaker. Except for the tie, he pretty much looked like the guy who harvests aluminum cans from my recycling bin. If he tried to walk on to the floor of the United States Senate in that getup, the sergeant-at-arms would toss him out. But this is Milwaukee, the “come as you are” capital of America, and he fit right in. Barrett has made a list of 18 things he wants to accomplish in his first hundred days in office. I don’t know if reducing the police overtime budget is one of them, but the men in blue were certainly racking up the hours during the interminable ceremony. The aldermen were sworn in sequentially according to district. Each alderman then gave a little speech. The last district, the 15th, is occupied by Willie Hines, who is now the Common Council president. He then gave a big speech. He began by saying, “my ascent to the Council Presidency is not a compromise or consolation prize for the African-American community.” This was an effective way to defuse speculation that his election was a compromise or consolation prize, and was a rather sharp thing to do. Hines also insisted that corruption will not taint his council. (We’ll check back on that in four years.) His delivery was generally quite good, and had a hint of religious fervor to it. Moments earlier, he did have a slip up. When Valarie Hill was about to be sworn in as municipal judge, Hines said, “The City Clerk will now come to the altar – er, the podium – to take the oath.” Also, when Hines introduced the new mayor he called him “Mayor Marvin Pratt – er, Mayor Barrett.” These things happen. The Common Council […]Apr 26th, 2004 by Michael Horne
Sometime in the coming week, Gov. Scott McCallum will be meeting secretly with lobbyists in Minocqua, of all places, to discuss a plan to cut school spending and force property tax increases as a way to balance the state budget.Nov 24th, 2001 by Bruce Murphy
It must be tough being married to James Sensenbrenner.Aug 30th, 2001 by Bruce Murphy
The Greater Milwaukee Committee thinks it's found a way to get more revenue for the Milwaukee Bucks.Jun 15th, 2001 by Bruce Murphy