Ernest Kline

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Ernest Kline
25th Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
In office
January 19, 1971 – January 16, 1979
Governor Milton Shapp
Preceded by Raymond Broderick
Succeeded by William Scranton III
Democratic Leader
of the Pennsylvania Senate
In office
August 1, 1967[1] – November 30, 1970
Preceded by John Devlin
Succeeded by Thomas Lamb
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 47th district
In office
January 5, 1965 – January 5, 1971[2]
Preceded by John Carl Miller
Succeeded by John Good, Jr.
Constituency Parts of Beaver and Washington Counties.
Personal details
Born June 20, 1929
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Died May 13, 2009(2009-05-13) (aged 79)
Hershey Medical Center[3]
Political party Democratic
Children 7 children[4]
Residence Rostraver Township, Pennsylvania[4]
Palmyra, Pennsylvania[4]
Alma mater Duquesne University

Ernest P. "Ernie" Kline (June 20, 1929 – May 13, 2009) was a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania State Senate and the 25th Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania.

Early life and career[edit]

Kline was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and grew up in the Webster neighborhood of Rostraver Township, Pennsylvania.[4] He attended Rostraver High School, where he was the starting quarterback and graduated in 1947.[4] He attended Duquesne University, but was unable to afford completing his degree.[4] He took a career in radio news broadcasting in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, Connellsville, Pennsylvania, Kittanning, Pennsylvania, and at WBVP-AM in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.[4] He entered politics after covering city council; he was elected to the Beaver Falls City Council in 1955.[4] In 1961, he was appointed to be a workers' compensation referee for Beaver, Washington, and Greene Counties.[4]


He was elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1964, taking office in 1965.[6] In August 1967, he was elected Democratic Floor Leader, becoming the youngest person to hold that position.[4]

He was elected Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania on the Milton Shapp gubernatorial ticket in November 1970. As a Western Pennsylvanian, Kline provided balance to the Democratic ticket, which had Philadelphian Milton Shapp.[3] Kline held that position from 1971 to 1979.

He served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1972 and 2000.[5] He is credited for taking steps to establish the Governor's Energy Council during the 1973 oil crisis and for leading the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.[7] He ran for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 1978, but lost a highly contested primary to Peter Flaherty, who eventually lost to Dick Thornburgh.[7]

Later life and death[edit]

Kline retired from political life after his stint as Lieutenant Governor and served as a lobbyist.[4] He lived in Palmyra, Pennsylvania until his death in 2009 at the age of 79.[3]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Raymond Broderick
Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
William Scranton III
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Devlin
Democratic Leader of the Pennsylvania Senate
Succeeded by
Thomas Lamb
Preceded by
Leonard Staisey
Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
1970, 1974
Succeeded by
Bob Casey
Pennsylvania State Senate
Preceded by
John Carl Miller
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 47th District
Succeeded by
John Good, Jr.