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Rudy Boschwitz

Rudy Boschwitz
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights
In office
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Richard S. Williamson
Succeeded by Eileen Donahoe
United States Senator
from Minnesota
In office
December 30, 1978 – January 3, 1991
Preceded by Wendell Anderson
Succeeded by Paul Wellstone
Personal details
Born Rudolph Ely Boschwitz
(1930-11-07) November 7, 1930 (age 87)
Berlin, Weimar Germany
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Ellen Boschwitz
Alma mater New York University (B.S., J.D.)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1954–1955
Unit Signal Corps

Rudolph Ely "Rudy" Boschwitz (born November 7, 1930) is a former Independent-Republican United States Senator from Minnesota. He served in the Senate from December 1978 to January 1991, in the 96th, 97th, 98th, 99th, 100th, and 101st congresses. He was then defeated by Paul Wellstone.

Life and career

Boschwitz was born November 7, 1930 in Berlin, Germany, the son of Lucy (née Dawidowicz) and Eli Boschwitz.[1] In 1933, when he was three years old, his Jewish family fled from Nazi Germany to the United States, settling in New Rochelle, New York, where he grew up. A graduate of The Pennington School, he attended Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, graduated from the New York University Stern School of Business in 1950, and the New York University School of Law in 1953.

He was admitted to the New York State bar in 1954 and the Wisconsin bar in 1959. He served in the United States Army Signal Corps 1954–1955. He was the founder and chairman of a plywood and home improvement retailer, Plywood Minnesota, which later became Home Valu Interiors.[2]

Boschwitz was elected as an Independent-Republican to the United States Senate in November 1978 and was subsequently appointed on December 30, 1978, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Wendell Anderson, who was appointed to fill the seat after native son Walter Mondale was elected Vice President two years earlier. Boschwitz was well known in Minnesota for operating a "Flavored Milk" booth at the Minnesota State Fair.

Boschwitz is known for one of the more interesting campaign buttons in Minnesota politics; the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party alleged that Boschwitz's donors were "fat cats," so Boschwitz's campaign created a "skinny cat" campaign button to be worn by those who had donated less than $100 to his campaign [3]

After his defeat in 1990 by Wellstone, Boschwitz ran against Wellstone again in 1996 but failed to regain his seat.

In 1991 he traveled to Ethiopia as the emissary of President George H. W. Bush. The negotiations led by Boschwitz while in Ethiopia resulted in Operation Solomon. That is, the Ethiopian Government released 14,325 Jewish people to Israel by a massive airlift. Operation Solomon took twice as many Beta Israel émigrés to Israel as Operation Moses and Operation Joshua combined.[citation needed]

He was a top "Bush Pioneer" in 2000, fund-raising $388,193, and a "Bush Ranger" in 2004, raising a minimum of $200,000 for George W. Bush's campaign fund in that election cycle.[4]

In 2005, President George W. Bush named Boschwitz as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, which met at the U.N. in Geneva, Switzerland.

He also supported John McCain in the 2008 Presidential election. He appeared at a McCain Straight Talk Town Hall Meeting in Lakeville, MN on October 10, 2008.

He presently serves on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, is an AIPAC Board Member, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Electoral history

See also


  1. ^ "Boschwitz, Rudolph Eli - Dictionary definition of Boschwitz, Rudolph Eli - FREE online dictionary". Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  2. ^ [1] Archived November 10, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Museum, Hennepin History (27 February 2016). "The Skinny Cats of Minnesota Politics". Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  4. ^

External links

U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Wendell Anderson
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Minnesota
Served alongside: David Durenberger
Succeeded by
Paul Wellstone
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Heinz
Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee
Succeeded by
Don Nickles