ENG: Herbert H. "Herb" Kohl (born February 7, 1935) is an American businessman and politician. He is a former United States Senator from Wisconsin and a member of the Democratic Party. He is also a philanthropist and the owner of the Milwaukee Bucks National Basketball Association (NBA) team. He did not seek reelection in 2012 and his term ended on January 3, 2013.
Early life, education and career
Kohl was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Mary (née Hiken) and Max Kohl. His father was a Polish Jewish immigrant and his mother was a Russian Jewish immigrant.
He attended Washington High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1956 and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School in 1958. While an undergraduate, he joined the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity. He was also a roommate of Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. Between 1958 and 1964, Kohl was a member of the United States Army Reserve.
After finishing graduate school, Kohl worked as an investor in real estate and the stock market, eventually spinning off his own company, Kohl Investments, to manage these assets.
He and his brother became heir to a family-owned chain that included 50 grocery stores and several department stores, pharmacies, and liquor stores. In 1970, Kohl was named President of Kohl's and he helped to oversee the merger of his corporation with BATUS Inc. in 1972. Kohl stayed on as an executive until 1979. Before his election to the Senate, Kohl helped build his family-owned business, Kohl's grocery and department stores. He served as president from 1970 until the sale of the corporation in 1979.
In 1985, Kohl purchased the Milwaukee Bucks from Jim Fitzgerald to ensure the team remained in Milwaukee. In 2003, he considered an offer to sell the team to former NBA superstar Michael Jordan, but decided to retain ownership. He was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.
Early political career
Kohl served as Chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party between 1975 and 1977.
Kohl won election to the U.S. Senate in 1988 with his trademark catchphrase "Nobody's Senator But Yours". He was reelected in 1994, 2000 and 2006.
He did not seek reelection in 2012.
With an estimated net worth in 2005 of $279 million, Kohl is one of the wealthiest U.S. Senators. He has donated $25 million to the University of Wisconsin–Madison for construction of its new sports arena, which was named the Kohl Center. It was the largest single donation in University of Wisconsin System history. In 1990 he established the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Achievement Award Program, which provides annual grants totaling $100,000 to 100 graduating seniors, 100 teachers and 100 schools throughout Wisconsin.
On May 13, 2011, Kohl announced his retirement and plans to not run for reelection in 2012. In this announcement, he said, "The office doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the people of Wisconsin, and there is something to be said for not staying in office too long,"