In Memoriam: Dawn Clark Netsch, 1926-2013

netsch175Dawn Clark Netsch, a pioneering politician and professor of law emerita at the Northwestern University School of Law, died earlier this month at the age of 86. She suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Professor Netsch served in the Illinois state Senate for 18 years. When she was elected state comptroller in 1990, she became the first woman to be elected to a statewide executive office in Illinois. In 1994, she was the first woman to run for governor on the ticket of a major political party. She lost that election to Governor Jim Edgar.

Netsch was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Northwestern University. She earned her law degree at Northwestern in 1952. In 1965, Netsch was the first woman to join the faculty at the Northwestern University School of Law. She served on the faculty there until 2006.

For more, see Dawn Clark Netsch: A Political Life by Cynthia Grant Bowman (Northwestern University Press, 2010).

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