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|United States Senator
December 30, 1978 – January 3, 1991
|Preceded by||Wendell Anderson|
|Succeeded by||Paul Wellstone|
|Born||Rudolph Ely Boschwitz
November 7, 1930
|Alma mater||New York University (B.S., J.D.)|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1954–1955|
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. 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.
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. 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 
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.
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.
- 1978 Race for U.S. Senate
- Rudy Boschwitz (R), 57%
- Wendell Anderson (DFL) (inc.), 40%
- 1984 Race for U.S. Senate
- Rudy Boschwitz (R) (inc.), 58%
- Joan Anderson Growe (DFL), 41%
- 1990 Race for U.S. Senate
- Paul Wellstone (DFL), 50%
- Rudy Boschwitz (R) (inc.), 48%
- 1996 Race for U.S. Senate
- Rudy Boschwitz: An Inventory of His Papers at the Minnesota Historical Society
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|United States Senate|
|U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Minnesota
Served alongside: David Durenberger
|Party political offices|
|Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee