Governor Tom Corbett today ordered all Pennsylvania flags lowered to half-staff immediately in honor of former Governor William Warren “Bill” Scranton who died Sunday at the age of 96.
Scranton was Pennsylvania’s 38th governor, serving from 1963 to 1967.
“Governor Scranton was a world-class leader in government. He will be remembered as a man of humility, honesty, dignity and integrity,’’ Corbett said.
Originally from Lackawanna County, Scranton earned his bachelor’s degree from Yale University, but interrupted his law school studies at Yale to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corp as a pilot during World War II.
After the war, Scranton returned home to complete his studies and pass the Pennsylvania Bar exam, but he remained active in the Air Force Reserve for another 20 years before retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Scranton practiced law and entered the business community, serving as special assistant to U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles during the Eisenhower administration. He successfully ran for congress in 1960 and, two years later, for governor.
During his administration, major reforms were created in the educational system, including the creation of a community college system and the State Board of Education and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, as well as the Council of Science and Technology to advocate for new technical training programs.
After leaving office, Scranton was appointed in 1976 by President Gerald Ford to become the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
In 2000, Scranton became the third recipient of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission’s Pennsylvania Founders Award, for representing the ideals of William Penn in individual rights, religious tolerance, representative government, public support of education, and free enterprise.
“Susan and I mourn the passing of this distinguished man and offer our sincerest condolences to his wife, Mary, and his family. We will always be grateful for Governor Scranton’s service and the legacy he left our great commonwealth,’’ Corbett said.
Flags will remain at half-staff until sunset on the day of his funeral. Service arrangements for the former governor are pending. All Pennsylvanians are invited to join in this tribute.