Capitol Correspondence - 01.06.21

ANCOR Statement on the Passing of Disability Champion Richard Thornburgh

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ANCOR is saddened by the news that Richard Thornburgh, former Governor of Pennsylvania, former United States Attorney General and longtime disability rights activist, passed away late last week.

In addition to his many accomplishments, Governor Thornburgh and his second wife Ginny were strong advocates for people with disabilities, a fight they joined initially on behalf of Richard’s son Peter, who lives with permanent brain damage after a car accident which killed Peter’s mother and Governor Thornburgh’s first wife, Virginia.

As the U.S. Attorney General, Thornburgh led the Bush administration’s drive in Congress to enact the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, which barred discrimination against people with physical, mental and sensory disabilities. He supported his wife Ginny as she led the interfaith efforts of the National Organization on Disability’s “That All May Worship” program as their Director of Religion and Disability Program.

Governor Thornburgh has been recognized and celebrated by disability advocates around the nation; members and staff of ANCOR have had the honor of meeting with him over the years and were continually struck by his kind and gracious nature and his solid support for the disability rights movement. We at ANCOR are all looking forward to the new year, but recognize we do so minus a champion. Our thoughts are with Ginny and the entire Thornburgh family.