Additional Statementsby Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.
Posted on 2013-12-19
CASEY. Mr. President, today I wish to remember and honor
former Pennsylvania Governor William W. Scranton who passed away July
28, 2013. In both his public and his private life, Governor Scranton
was always working to serve Pennsylvania and the Nation.
Bill Scranton was a descendent of colonists who came over on the Mayflower and his family founded Scranton, PA. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and was an assistant to Secretaries of State John Foster Dulles and Christian Herter during the Eisenhower administration.
In 1960, Bill was elected to Congress and was dubbed a ``Kennedy Republican'' for his support of the President's programs, including the Peace Corps, urban renewal projects and the minimum wage. He would only serve 2 years in the House of Representatives, before he was elected Governor of Pennsylvania in 1962.
As Governor, he signed into law legislation creating the State community college system, the State Board of Education, and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, PHEAA. During his four years in office, unemployment went down and wages went up. Limited to one term, he left elected office in 1967, but that did not end his public service.
Under President Nixon, Governor Scranton served as a special envoy to the Middle East and after the Kent State University shooting in Ohio in 1970, President Nixon again called on him to serve, appointing him the Chairman of the President's Commission on Campus Unrest. President Ford also reached out to Governor Scranton to serve, appointing him Ambassador to the United Nations where he prioritized human rights.
After leaving the United Nations, Bill Scranton retired. Throughout his life he was known as a man of integrity who said and did what he thought was right. In 2000, he received the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's Founders Award, which is given to a living person who represents the ideals of William Penn in individual rights, religious tolerance, representative government, public support of education, and free enterprise. Bill remained devoted to the city that bears his family name. He worked with various civic and charitable organizations and continued to advocate for economic development and job creation projects. His son, William W. Scranton III, followed him into public service as Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania from 1979 to 1987.
My thoughts are with his family and we thank him for his life of service to our Commonwealth and our country.