1941 – Governor Tommy Thompson Born

On this date Wisconsin governor was born in Elroy, Wisconsin. Thompson graduated from UW-Madison with a B.S. in 1963 and a J.D. in 1966. He began his career in public service in 1966 as a representative in Wisconsin’s state Assembly. He was elected assistant Assembly minority leader in 1973 and Assembly minority leader in 1981. He was first elected governor in 1987. Throughout his career, Thompson received numerous awards for his public service, including the Anti-Defamation League’s Distinguished Public Service Award. Furthermore, Thompson┬áreceived ‘s Public Official of the Year Award in 1997, the Horatio Alger Award in 1998, and the Marquette University Les Aspin Center Award for Distinguished Public Service in 2000. Thompson has also served as chairman of the National Governors’ Association, the Education Commission of the States and the Midwestern Governors’ Conference. During his 14 years as governor (1987-2000), Thompson focused on building Wisconsin’s economy. He gained national attention for his welfare reform and education policies. In 1996, Thompson enacted Wisconsin Works, or “W-2,” Wisconsin’s landmark welfare-to-work legislation, which served as a national model for welfare reform. On February 2, 2001, Thompson was sworn-in as Health and Human Services Secretary for the Bush Administration. [Source: ]