William Dyke

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Bill Dyke
Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin
In office
Preceded byOtto Festge
Succeeded byPaul Soglin
Personal details
Born(1930-04-25)April 25, 1930
Princeton, Illinois, U.S.
DiedMarch 10, 2016(2016-03-10) (aged 85)
Dodgeville, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Other political
American Independent (1976)
Alma materDePauw University
University of Wisconsin,

William D. "Bill" Dyke (April 25, 1930 – March 10, 2016) was an American lawyer, judge, and politician. He was a two-term mayor of Madison, Wisconsin from 1969 to 1973 and ran with Lester Maddox for vice president on the American Independent Party ticket in 1976.

Early life[edit]

Dyke received his bachelor's degree from DePauw University in Indiana.[1] While completing his degree at the University of Wisconsin Law School, he hosted Circus 3, a local children's television program on WISC-TV.[2] He also moderated Face the State, a local political news program modeled after the nationally televised Face the Nation. The program included interviews with political luminaries such as Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, Gerald Ford, and John F. Kennedy.[3]

Political career[edit]

Dyke was a two-term mayor of Madison, Wisconsin from 1969 to 1973. His tenure as mayor is considered a colorful and often controversial part of Madison's history.[4] Dyke presided over Madison during the most turbulent era in the city's history, highlighted by the Sterling Hall bombing and subsequent clashes with student uprisings. One of those student activists, Paul Soglin, defeated Dyke's attempt for re-election in 1973. Undeterred, Dyke ran as the Republican nominee for governor in 1974, losing to Democrat Patrick Lucey.

A conservative Republican, Dyke briefly left the party in 1976 to join Lester Maddox's American Independent Party presidential ticket as the vice presidential nominee; however, he disavowed Maddox's segregationist views.[5] Maddox and Dyke won 170,274 votes in the general election (or 0.21% of votes).[6]

Post-political career[edit]

Following the end of his political career, Dyke opened a general contracting business in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, and bred horses.[7] He also worked as a family mediation lawyer in Mineral Point, Wisconsin.[7]

In 1996, Governor Tommy Thompson appointed Dyke a circuit court judge in Iowa County. He later became the chief judge of the circuit court in Iowa County. Dyke left the bench in January 2016, and died two months later.[8][7]

Dyke illustrated the children's book The General's Hat, or Why the Bell Tower Stopped Working, a tale written by Kay Price about two mice who get on the same ship with General Ulysses S. Grant on his travels to Galena, Illinois.[9]

Electoral history[edit]

Wisconsin Gubernatorial Election 1974
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Patrick Lucey (incumbent) 628,639 53.20
Republican Bill Dyke 497,189 42.08


  1. ^ Martidaledale.com.-Judge Profile: William Dyke
  2. ^ Tim Hollis. Hi There, Boys and Girls!: America's Local Children's TV Shows. 2001, p. 301.
  3. ^ Mary Erpenbach. "WISC-TV Looks Back On 50 Years Of Excellence". Madison Magazine.
  4. ^ Richard L. Kenyon. "Soglin heats up Madison". The Milwaukee Journal, March 26, 1989.
  5. ^ "Maddox may file suit if left out of debate", Eugene Register-Guard, 1976-08-30, retrieved 2010-01-12
  6. ^ U.S. Election Atlas: 1976 Presidential General Election Results.
  7. ^ a b c Jeff Glaze. "Bill Dyke, Madison mayor during Vietnam War, dead at 85". Wisconsin State Journal, March 11, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  8. ^ Wisconsin Court System: Circuit Court Judges
  9. ^ OCLC World Cat
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jack Olson
Republican nominee for Governor of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
Lee Dreyfus
Preceded by
Thomas Anderson
American Independent nominee for Vice President of the United States
Succeeded by
Eileen Shearer