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  Kohler, Walter J.
NameWalter J. Kohler
Sheboygan, Wisconsin , United States
Born April 04, 1904
DiedMarch 21, 1976 (71 years)
ContributorThomas Walker
Last ModifedAndy
Mar 05, 2013 12:35am
Tags U.S. Navy -
InfoWalter Jodak Kohler, Jr. (April 4, 1904–March 21, 1976) was Governor of Wisconsin from 1951 to 1957 and president of the Kohler Company.

Son of former Governor Walter J. Kohler Sr., WALTER J. KOHLER JR. was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He graduated from Phillips Andover Academy in Massachusetts and received a Ph.B. degree from Yale University in 1925. He went on to work in his family’s company, becoming director and secretary. Commissioned a Lieutenant in the Naval Reserve, he was called to active duty in 1943, serving as an air combat intelligence officer in the Pacific Theater and rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 1945. In 1947 he became president of the Vollrather Company founded by his great-grandfather in Sheboygan. He was a delegate-at-large to the Republican National Convention in 1948 and ran a successful campaign for governor in 1950, winning reelection in 1952 and 1954. During his term as governor, legislation was enacted reapportioning state voting districts strictly by population. In addition, the University of Wisconsin, state colleges, and public welfare facilities were expanded . Kohler declined to seek a fourth term as governor, running unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate after the death of Joseph McCarthy and later against William Proxmire.

Kohler's father, Walter J. Kohler, Sr., was Governor of Wisconsin from 1929 to 1931. His son Terry Kohler ran for governor in 1982 against Anthony Earl, but lost.



Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor

Importance? 8.00000 Average

Son Terry Kohler 1934-2016
Father Walter Jodok Kohler, Sr. 1875-1940

  08/28/1957 WI US Senate Lost 40.51% (-15.92%)
  07/30/1957 WI US Senate - Special R Primary Won 34.43% (+2.75%)
  11/02/1954 WI Governor Won 51.45% (+3.06%)
  11/04/1952 WI Governor Won 62.48% (+25.22%)
  11/07/1950 WI Governor Won 53.21% (+7.06%)
  09/19/1950 WI Governor - R Primary Won 64.42% (+28.84%)
WI US President - R Primary - Apr 06, 1948 R Harold E. Stassen