Dick Thornburgh, who as Pennsylvania governor won plaudits for his cool handling of the 1979 Three Mile Island crisis and as US attorney general restored credibility to a Justice Department hurt by the Iran-Contra scandal, has died. He was 88.
Thornburgh died Thursday morning at a retirement community facility outside Pittsburgh, his son David said. The cause is not yet known. He suffered a mild stroke in June 2014.
Thornburgh built his reputation as a crime-busting federal prosecutor in Pittsburgh and as a moderate Republican governor. As the nations top law enforcement official, he prosecuted the savings and loan scandal. He also shepherded the Americans with Disabilities Act; one of his sons had been severely brain damaged in an auto accident.
After leaving public office, Thornburgh became a go-to troubleshooter who helped CBS investigate its news practices, dissected illegalities at telecommunications company WorldCom and tried to improve the United Nations efficiency.
“Ive always had an opportunity to right a vessel that was somewhat listing and taking on water,” he told The Associated Press in 1999. “I wouldnt object to being characterized as a Mr. Fix It. Ive liked the day-in, day-out challenges of governance.”
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