Robert Kastenmeier

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Robert W. Kastenmeier
Robert Kastenmeier.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1959 – January 3, 1991
Preceded by Donald Edgar Tewes
Succeeded by Scott Klug
Personal details
Born (1924-01-24) January 24, 1924 (age 91)
Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Dorothy Chambers
Profession Lawyer
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1943-1946
Rank First Lieutenant
Battles/wars World War II

Robert William Kastenmeier (born January 24, 1924) is a United States politician. He represented Wisconsin in the United States House of Representatives from 1959 to 1991, and is a member of the Democratic Party.[1]



Kastenmeier was born in Beaver Dam, Dodge County, Wisconsin, and attended its public schools. He continued his education at Carleton College and at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he got his LL.B. in 1952, and was admitted to the bar and began to practice law in Watertown, Wisconsin.[2]

Military service[edit]

He entered the Army as a private in February 1943 and served in the Philippines. He was discharged on August 15, 1946 as a first lieutenant. Afterwards, he served in the War Department as a branch office director in the claims service in the Philippines from 1946 to 1948.

Political career[edit]

In 1955, Kastenmeier was elected to the position of Justice of the Peace for Jefferson and Dodge Counties, and he served until 1959.

Kastenmeier made an unsuccessful bid for Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district in 1956, losing to Republican Donald Tewes by 11 points. However, he sought a rematch in 1958 and defeated Tewes by 6,200 votes, being elected to congress for the first time. He fended won a third race with Tewes in 1960, and faced another close contest in 1962. However, he romped to a third term in 1964, and afterward only faced one other close contest, in 1980. He overall served from the 86th Congress to the 101st Congress.

As a congressman, Kastenmeier was one of the managers appointed by the House in 1986 to conduct the impeachment proceedings against Harry E. Claiborne, a judge of the United States District Court for Nevada.

He was also on the Judiciary Committee involved in the creation of the Copyright Act of 1976.[3]

In 1990, Kastenmeier unexpectedly lost his re-election bid to Republican Scott Klug, a political newcomer who was nearly 30 years his junior.

The Robert W. Kastenmeier United States Courthouse of the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin was named in his honor.

Robert Kastenmeier currently lives in Arlington, Virginia.


  1. ^ Robert Kastenmeier, Wisconsin Historical Society
  2. ^ Watertown Historical Society, Robert Kastenmeier
  3. ^ See, e.g., Robert Kastenmeier, 90th Cong., Report To Accompany H.R. 2512, Report No. 83 (March 8, 1967)

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Donald Edgar Tewes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Scott Klug