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William Ruckelshaus
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    (July 24, 1932-November 27, 2019)
    Born in Indianapolis, Indiana
    Two-time head of the Environmental Protection Agency (1970-73,1983-85)
    Deputy Attorney General (1973)
    During the ‘Saturday Night Massacre,’ resigned rather than fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox (October 20, 1973)
    Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2015)
    He ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate (1968).
    He noted that after three months heading the EPA, ‘I began to question every single one of the assumptions I had entered the agency with.’
    He admitted his wife was less than thrilled about his decision to return to Washington, DC.
    Between his two stints at the EPA, he served on the boards of several corporations, including ones regulated by the EPA.
    After little more than a year of his marriage, his first wife, Ellen Urban, died of complications from giving birth to twin daughters.
    He was married to his second wife, Jill Strickland, for 58 years.
    He was credited with restoring morale at the EPA after Anne Gorsuch Burford’s controversial leadership.
    As an executive with the trash-removal company Browning-Ferris Industries, he worked with law enforcement to break organized crime’s control over garbage disposal in New York City.
    He criticized the Republican Party for ignoring the science on climate change for political purposes.
    He said, ‘I've had an awful lot of jobs in my lifetime, and in moving from one to another, have had the opportunity to think about what makes them worthwhile. I've concluded there are four important criteria: interest, excitement, challenge, and fulfillment. I've never worked anywhere where I could find all four to quite the same extent as at EPA..’

Credit: C. Fishel

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