Today, The Arc celebrates the life of Former Pennsylvania Governor and U.S. Attorney General Richard “Dick” Thornburgh, a champion in the disability rights movement who played a crucial role in the passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Mr. Thornburgh died Thursday. He was 88.
Throughout his career, Mr. Thornburgh fought for equal rights for people with disabilities. He was instrumental in forever changing life for people with disabilities in the U.S. and helping to lay important groundwork that we continue to build upon today. The ADA advanced the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in many critical areas including employment, state and local government services, privately operated public accommodations such as hotels, restaurants, stores, museums, transportation, and telecommunications.
We are grateful for Mr. Thornburgh’s persistent advocacy in support of the ADA and bipartisan spirit demonstrated throughout the passage and subsequent implementation of the ADA. He helped so many understand the importance of empowering people with disabilities by removing barriers and through his leadership.
We send our deepest condolences to his wife Ginny Thornburgh, a lifelong advocate for people with disabilities, and the entire Thornburgh family.