Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR0311
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Full Text of SR0311  103rd General Assembly




SR0311LRB103 32344 LAW 61703 r


2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois Senate are saddened
3to learn of the death of Newton N. Minow, former chairman of
4the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), who passed away
5on May 6, 2023 at the age of 97; 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 his true love and
13lifetime collaborator Josephine "Jo" Baskin in 1949, and she
14preceded him in death in February 2022 after 72 years of
15marriage; and
16    WHEREAS, After graduating from law school, Newton Minow
17served as law clerk to the Honorable Fred M. Vinson, Chief
18Justice of the United States, and then as assistant counsel to
19Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson, during which he first
20suggested televised presidential debates in a memo to the
21governor in 1955; and
22    WHEREAS, Newton Minow was selected to chair the FCC by



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1President John F. Kennedy in 1961; he drafted legislation that
2expanded the broadcast spectrum, known as the All-Channel
3Receiver Act (ACRA) of 1962, and promoted the implementation
4of communication satellite technology; during his tenure, he
5additionally cemented presidential debates as a national
6institution and vigorously supported children's programming
7and broadcasting for the public interest, leading the way for
8the creation of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS); he
9served in the Kennedy Administration until 1963 and became
10executive vice president and general counsel of Encyclopedia
11Britannica, Inc.; and
12    WHEREAS, Newton Minow returned to Chicago in 1965, joining
13the law firm of Leibman, Williams, Bennett, Baird & Minow,
14which merged with Sidley & Austin in 1972 to become one of the
15largest law firms in the nation at the time; he was a partner
16at Sidley Austin, LLP from 1965 until 1991, serving on the
17firm's Management Committee and Executive Committee and
18remaining active as senior counsel until his death; he was a
19prominent business and civic leader who helped Sidley Austin,
20LLP and Chicago grow and prosper; and
21    WHEREAS, Newton Minow was committed to supporting
22education, including through his and Sidley Austin, LLP's
23adoption of the Kanoon Magnet School in 1984; and



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1    WHEREAS, Newton Minow was a man of ideas who authored five
2books and wrote numerous articles; and
3    WHEREAS, Newton Minow remained active in Democratic
4politics and with the Commission on Presidential Debates
5(CPD), including co-chairing the 1976 and 1980 presidential
6debates; he was involved in every organizing presidential
7debate since then, serving on the CPD until last year; he also
8served on commissions appointed by presidents of both
9political parties; and
10    WHEREAS, Newton Minow maintained a lifelong relationship
11with Northwestern University, joining its board of trustees in
121975, where he served for nearly five decades, and becoming a
13life trustee in 1987; he received the Northwestern Alumni
14Medal in 1978; he was also the Walter Annenberg Professor
15Emeritus of communications and law and was the director of the
16Annenberg Washington Program in Communications Policy Studies
17of Northwestern University; he became the namesake of an
18endowment for a named professorship at Northwestern University
19Pritzker School of Law in 2014 through funding by a consortium
20of his personal friends, fellow alumni, and colleagues at
21Sidley Austin, LLP, which also established the Newton and Jo
22Minow Debate Series at the Law School, the first of which was
23held in November 2015; and



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1    WHEREAS, Newton Minow served as a director of many
2companies, including the Aon Corporation, CBS, the Sara Lee
3Corporation, Manpower, Inc., the Tribune Company, and Foote,
4Cone & Belding Communications, Inc.; he was a former chairman
5of the RAND Corporation, trustee emeritus of the Mayo Clinic,
6a life trustee of the University of Notre Dame, a former
7trustee and chairman of the Carnegie Corporation, and former
8chairman of PBS; and
9    WHEREAS, Newton Minow was named one of 21 recipients of
10the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest
11civilian honor, by President Barack Obama in 2016; he was also
12the recipient of the American Bar Association Silver Gavel
13Award, the Chicago Bar Association John Paul Stevens Award,
14the Federal Communications Bar Association Lifetime
15Achievement Award, and the American Lawyer Lifetime
16Achievement Award; he was the recipient of several honorary
17degrees, including from Brandeis University, the University of
18Wisconsin, Northwestern University, and the University of
19Notre Dame; and
20    WHEREAS, Newton Minow was a mentor, friend,
21philanthropist, leader, and an icon throughout his many years
22of service in the public and private sectors; he was
23kind-hearted to all those he encountered and never shied from
24an opportunity to speak openly and frankly about something in



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1which he believed; he was known for his leadership, brilliant
2insights, commitment to democracy and justice, warmth, and
3sense of humor; he will be remembered for the incredible
4contributions he made to society, the State of Illinois, and
5the nation; and
6    WHEREAS, Newton Minow was a devoted husband, father, and
7grandfather; and
8    WHEREAS, Newton Minow is survived by his daughters, Nell
9(David Apatoff) Minow, Martha (Joe Singer) Minow, and Mary
10Minow, and his grandchildren, Ben (Michelle Campagna) Apatoff,
11Rachel (Scott Collette) Apatoff, and Mira Singer; therefore,
12be it
14ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we mourn the passing of
15Newton N. Minow, former chairman of the Federal Communications
16Commission (FCC) and a champion for the public interest, and
17extend our sincere condolences to his family, friends, and all
18who knew and loved him; and be it further
19    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
20presented to the family of Newton Minow as an expression of our
21deepest sympathy.