Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0267
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Full Text of HR0267  103rd General Assembly




HR0267LRB103 32307 LAW 61617 r


2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives are saddened to learn of the death of Newton
4N. Minow, former chairman of the Federal Communications
5Commission (FCC), who passed away on May 6, 2023; and
6    WHEREAS, Newton Minow was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on
7January 17, 1926; he served as a U.S. Army sergeant in the
8China-Burma-India Theater during World War II; he attended
9Northwestern University, where he served as editor-in-chief of
10the Illinois Law Review, known today as the Northwestern
11University Law Review, and earned his bachelor's degree in
121949 and his Juris Doctor in 1950; he married Josephine "Jo"
13Baskin in 1949, and she preceded him in death in February 2022;
15    WHEREAS, After graduating from law school, Newton Minow
16served as law clerk to the Honorable Fred M. Vinson, Chief
17Justice of the United States, and then as assistant counsel to
18Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson, during which he first
19suggested televised presidential debates in a memo to the
20governor in 1955; and
21    WHEREAS, Newton Minow was appointed as chairman of the FCC
22by President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s; he drafted



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1legislation that expanded the broadcast spectrum, known as the
2All-Channel Receiver Act (ACRA) of 1962, and promoted the
3implementation of communication satellite technology; during
4his tenure, he additionally cemented presidential debates as a
5national institution and vigorously supported children's
6programming, leading the way for the creation of the Public
7Broadcasting Service (PBS); he served in the Kennedy
8Administration until 1963 and became executive vice president
9and general counsel of Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.; and
10    WHEREAS, Newton Minow returned to Chicago in 1965, joining
11the law firm of Leibman, Williams, Bennett, Baird & Minow,
12which merged with Sidley & Austin in 1972 before merging with
13Brown & Wood in 2001; he was a partner at Sidley Austin, LLP
14from 1965 until 1991, at which time he became senior counsel;
15he additionally authored five books and wrote numerous
16articles; and
17    WHEREAS, Newton Minow remained active in Democratic
18politics and with the Commission on Presidential Debates
19(CPD), including co-chairing the 1976 and 1980 presidential
20debates; he was involved in every organizing presidential
21debate since then, serving on the CPD until last year; he also
22served on commissions appointed by presidents of both
23political parties; and



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1    WHEREAS, Newton Minow maintained a lifelong relationship
2with Northwestern University, joining its board of trustees in
31975, where he served for nearly five decades, and becoming a
4life trustee in 1987; he received the Northwestern Alumni
5Medal in 1978; he was also the Walter Annenberg Professor
6Emeritus of communications and law and was the director of the
7Annenberg Washington Program in Communications Policy Studies
8of Northwestern University; he became the namesake of an
9endowment for a named professorship at Northwestern University
10Pritzker School of Law in 2014 through funding by a consortium
11of his personal friends, fellow alumni, and colleagues at
12Sidley Austin, which also established the Newton and Jo Minow
13Debate Series at the Law School, the first of which was held in
14November 2015; and
15    WHEREAS, Newton Minow served as a director of many
16companies, including the Aon Corporation, CBS, the Sara Lee
17Corporation, Manpower, Inc., the Tribune Company, and Foote,
18Cone & Belding Communications, Inc.; he was a former chairman
19of the RAND Corporation, trustee emeritus of the Mayo Clinic,
20a life trustee of the University of Notre Dame, a former
21trustee and chairman of the Carnegie Corporation, and former
22chairman of PBS; and
23    WHEREAS, Newton Minow was named one of 21 recipients of
24the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest



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1civilian honor, by President Barack Obama in 2016; he was also
2the recipient of the American Bar Association Silver Gavel
3Award, the Chicago Bar Association John Paul Stevens Award,
4the Federal Communications Bar Association Lifetime
5Achievement Award, and the American Lawyer Lifetime
6Achievement Award; he was the recipient of several honorary
7degrees, including from Brandeis University, the University of
8Wisconsin, Northwestern University, and the University of
9Notre Dame; and
10    WHEREAS, Newton Minow was a mentor, friend,
11philanthropist, leader, and an icon throughout his many years
12of service in the public and private sectors; he was
13kind-hearted to all those he encountered and never shied from
14an opportunity to speak openly and frankly about something in
15which he believed; he was known for his leadership, brilliant
16insights, warmth, and sense of humor; he will be remembered
17for the incredible contributions he made to society and the
18nation; and
19    WHEREAS, Newton Minow is survived by his children, Martha,
20Nell, and Mary Minow, and three grandchildren; therefore, be



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1we mourn the passing of Newton N. Minow, former chairman of the
2Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and extend our
3sincere condolences to his family, friends, and all who knew
4and loved him; and be it further
5    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
6presented to the family of Newton Minow as an expression of our
7deepest sympathy.