Bruce Sundlun

American World War II pilot Bruce Sundlun

Bruce Sundlun was an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who served as 71st Governor of Rhode Island from 1991 to 1995. He was Rhode Island's second Jewish governor, and the only Jewish governor in the United States during his two terms. In addition to politics, Sundlun had a varied career as a military pilot, federal attorney, practicing lawyer, corporate executive and university lecturer.
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Deceased
21 July 2011

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The Eulogizer: Shamir, Abutbul, Sundlun, Pearle - Heritage Florida Jewish News
Google News - over 6 years
Bruce Sundlun, the governor of Rhode Island from 1991 to 1995, died at his home in Jamestown, RI, on July 21 at 91. Sundlun was a World War II hero, successful businessman, prominent member of the Rhode Island Jewish community and a colorful character
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Bill Reynolds: Tiger's comeback has been nothing but rough - Providence Journal
Google News - over 6 years
•Baseball doesn't need a clock, but it does need umpires who don't allow hitters to step out of the box on virtually every pitch. •RIP Bruce Sundlun, one of this column's longtime go-to guys. So I miss him already, even if the raccoons don't
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Amerikaanse oorlogsheld van Jabbeke overleden - Het Nieuwsblad
Google News - over 6 years
JABBEKE - Oorlogsheld Bruce Sundlun (91) is overleden. De piloot van een Amerikaanse bommenwerper die op 1 december 1943 neerstortte in Jabbeke, overleefde de crash als enige van de zeskoppige crew. In het dorp werd hij onthaald als een held,
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PC grad Smith is women's winner; Ethiopian Kumsa Megersa overall winner - Providence Journal
Google News - over 6 years
Bruce Sundlun Memorial Trophy. His son, Tracy Sundlun, a senior vice president at Competitor Group and one of the founders of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, said his father would have been proud. Also among the competitors were Providence police
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Central Falls receiver is a high-powered lawyer who relishes a challenge - Providence Journal
Google News - over 6 years
Some suggest that Flanders is the Bruce Sundlun of Central Falls –– referring to the late former governor who took decisive action on his first day in office by closing 45 banks and credit unions because their private insurer had collapsed
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Runner's and Triathlete's Web News - RunnersWeb
Google News - over 6 years
... in the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Providence Half Marathon, I know my father was looking forward to watching her run," said Tracy Sundlun, Senior Vice-President of event organizer Competitor Group and son of the late Governor Bruce Sundlun
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Mark Patinkin: Thoughts at Large - Providence Journal
Google News - over 6 years
I'm guessing most people would like to live life as largely as Bruce Sundlun did, with as much drama, but few have the guts. • News Flash, 2021: “The state of Rhode Island officially closed all branches of government yesterday except for the collection
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RI's Governor Chafee talked up for third-party presidential bid in 2012 - Providence Journal
Google News - over 6 years
Bruce Sundlun's recent death, everyone had a Sundlun story. Here is one from the Journal archives, involving his September 1992 response to a question about how his chief of staff David Cruise, now a state traffic court magistrate, handled information
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Bruce Sundlun, 91, Rhode Island Governor With Flair
NYTimes - over 6 years
Bruce G. Sundlun, a former Democratic governor of Rhode Island whose tenure was marked by dramatic events both public and private, including a statewide banking crisis on his first day in office and a lawsuit -- happily resolved -- by a Midwestern teenager who said she was his daughter, died on Thursday at his home in Jamestown, R.I. He was 91. His
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Woonsocket, Pawtucket Prepare To Move Forward With Education Funding Lawsuit - Patch.com
Google News - over 6 years
A 1993 lawsuit against then Governor Bruce Sundlun's proposal for cutting education funding won in Superior Court when a judge argued that it gave students in wealthy districts an unfair edge over children attending schools in poorer communities
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New York man paralyzed in fall from Newport's Cliff Walk seeks new trial ... - Providence Journal
Google News - over 6 years
Bruce Sundlun and Newport Mayor Robert McKenna. The letter stated that “primary responsibility for supervision of the Cliff Walk and its maintenance can be narrowed to two entities; namely the State of Rhode Island and the City of Newport
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Push for Kennedy picks up steam - EastBayRI.com
Google News - almost 7 years
Bruce Sundlun will lead the local fund-raising effort. Mr. Lennon said the Navy did leave a small window open for Portland, Maine, to re-enter the competition if the Portland group can identify a site for the ship and meet funding requirements within
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Retired Intrepid President Bill White to assist RIAHOF's Fundraising Campaign ... - 1888 Press Release (press release)
Google News - almost 7 years
Leading the local fundraising effort is former Rhode Island Governor Bruce Sundlun, a WWII B-17 bomber pilot who retired from the Air Force as a colonel and also chaired President John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Parade in 1961; he has a personal interest
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Bringing JFK back to Newport - Warwick Beacon
Google News - almost 7 years
Former Rhode Island Governor Bruce Sundlun has committed to lead the local fundraising effort. Sundlun is a World War II B-17 bomber pilot who retired from the Air Force as a colonel. He chaired President John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Parade in 1961 and
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Political Scene: Heated discussions preceded Watson's ouster - Providence Journal
Google News - almost 7 years
Chafee was back in Rhode Island in time for an evening roundtable discussion with four of his predecessors: former Governors Donald Carcieri, Bruce Sundlun, Edward D. DiPrete and J. Joseph Garrahy. That in-studio discussion was hosted by the Providence
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Barbara Ann DeBuono, M.D., M.P.H. Appointed President and CEO of ORBIS ... - PR Newswire (press release)
Google News - almost 7 years
Barbara was the Commissioner of Health for the State of New York in the first term of Governor Pataki, having previously served as Director of Health in Rhode Island in the cabinet of Governor Bruce Sundlun. She was a senior consultant to the World
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Video: Follies Poke Fun at Portsmouth, Politicians - Patch.com
Google News - almost 7 years
Bruce Sundlun to Portsmouth Town Councilor Judi Staven. The event, held inside the Common Fence community hall on Anthony Road, was a fundraiser for the Portsmouth Democratic Town Committee. More than 200 Democrats and Republicans from Portsmouth,
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Mount To Host Advocacy Training For Catholic School Parents - Patch.com
Google News - almost 7 years
... of Governor Bruce Sundlun, also stressed the efficacy of letters and phone calls to their legislators, sharing behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the cumulative effect of the phone calls, letters, and messages that result from grassroots campaigns
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WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS: VOWS; Kara Sundlun and Dennis House
NYTimes - over 14 years
IN the past 10 years, Kara Sundlun has met the two most important men in her life, getting to know both in the glare of television spotlights. Neither story could have been better scripted. In 1993, when she was Kara Hewes and a 17-year-old high school senior in Michigan, she became the catalyst of a media storm by filing a suit against her father,
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Bruce Sundlun
    LATE ADULTHOOD
  • 2011
    Age 91
    Sundlun was accorded full state and military honors prior to and at his funeral and burial on July 24, 2011.
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  • 2009
    Age 89
    On June 4, 2009, Sundlun was on a WPRO radio talk show in which he claimed that he flew a private plane owned by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Votolato, 79, from T. F. Green Airport to Hartford, Connecticut.
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    On April 30, 2009, Sundlun voluntarily surrendered his license.
    On February 24, 2009, Sundlun was involved in a dispute over his place in line at a branch of Citizens Bank in East Greenwich.
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    He was named an honorary citizen of Jabbeke in 2009 because of the fact that his actions saved countless lives in the town center of Jabbeke.
  • 2008
    Age 88
    In 2008, he was admonished by authorities of University of Rhode Island about his driving on the campus after separate incidents in which he drove on a sidewalk, nearly hit a professor who was walking with a cane, and allegedly hit a parked car.
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  • 2007
    Age 87
    In his later years, Sundlun had been involved in some traffic accidents and traffic violations, which led two Rhode Island police departments, North Kingstown in 2007 and Jamestown in 2009, to convince the state Department of Motor Vehicles to evaluate Sundlun's ability to drive.
  • 1997
    Age 77
    In December 1997, in East Greenwich, Sundlun attempted to purchase some plastic forks after hours from a nearby CVS/pharmacy for a Christmas party he was attending.
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  • 1993
    Age 73
    In July 1993, when he thought that three raccoons on his estate in Newport were rabid, Sundlun shot at them with a 12-gauge shotgun.
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    Sundlun was married five times and had four children. He was the father of WFSB news anchor Kara (Hewes) Sundlun and father-in-law to WFSB news anchor Dennis House. Sundlun admitted paternity after Hewes filed suit in 1993 alleging that Sundlun had fathered her in a relationship with her mother, Judith Vargo (Hewes).
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    He served a four-year term as a director of the National Security Education Board, appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
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  • 1992
    Age 72
    In 1992, he aided in the establishment of the Quonset Air Museum at the Quonset State Airport in North Kingstown.
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  • 1991
    Age 71
    Only one hour after Sundlun's inauguration as governor on January 1, 1991, he announced the closure of 45 banks and credit unions in the state due to the collapse of their private insurer, the Rhode Island Share and Deposit Indemnity Corporation (RISDIC).
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  • 1986
    Age 66
    Sundlun ran twice but lost the Rhode Island governorship races in 1986 and 1988, but won it on his third try in 1990, defeating incumbent governor Edward D. DiPrete in a landslide victory 74%-26%, the largest majority for any Rhode Island governor at the time.
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    And in his last three years as president between 1986 and 1988, he led the sale of the Outlet Communications stations in Orlando, San Antonio and Sacramento.
  • 1981
    Age 61
    He presided over the corporation during the 1981 sale of the company's flagship Providence department store, sale of several radio stations, the merger of The Outlet Company with the Rockefeller Group in 1984, and the renaming of the company to Outlet Communications.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1978
    Age 58
    In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed him as a member of the Board of Visitors of the United States Air Force Academy where he served two four-year terms, and that same year, he was appointed by Governor J. Joseph Garrahy as a Rhode Island Commodore.
  • 1976
    Age 56
    From 1976 to 1988, Sundlun was president and chief executive officer of The Outlet Company, a department store and broadcast communications company in Providence.
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    When Paul Tibbetts became president of EJA in 1976, he said that the company's turn around, under Sundlun's guidance, was one of the nation's great business success stories of that decade.
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  • 1972
    Age 52
    Sundlun also had three sons from his first marriage to Madeleine Schiffer Gimbel: Tracy Walter Sundlun, Vice President of Competitor Group, a promoter and manager of marathon races who at 17 coached track at the 1972 Olympic Games and was the youngest ever Olympic coach; Stuart Arthur Sundlun, a financial services executive managing the New York operations of Triago and the BMB Group; and Peter Bruce Sundlun, a commercial airline pilot with Dominion Aviation Services and Atlantic Southeast Airlines until 2009, becoming a Transportation Security Officer with the Transportation Security Administration.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1970
    Age 50
    On July 2, 1970 Sundlun was installed as EJA president, and he set out to rebuild the company.
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  • 1964
    Age 44
    He was a pioneer in the jet charter industry in 1964 by being one of the founding members of the board of directors of Executive Jet Aviation (EJA), along with Air Force generals Curtis E. LeMay, and Paul Tibbetts, and entertainers James Stewart and Arthur Godfrey among others, with retired Air Force Brigadier General Olbert F. ("Dick") Lassiter as president and chairman of the board.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1960
    Age 40
    Sundlun served as a co-chairman of the inaugural parade committee for President John F. Kennedy in 1960 and 1961, and was appointed by President Kennedy in October 1962 as an incorporating member of the Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT), where he served for 30 years as a director.
  • 1954
    Age 34
    From 1954 to 1972, he was in private law practice in both Washington, D.C. and Providence, with the law firms of Amram, Hahn, and Sundlun, and Sundlun, Tirana and Scher.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1949
    Age 29
    In 1949, he was appointed by Attorney General J. Howard McGrath to serve as an Assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C. and later served as a Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney General.
    From 1949 to 1972, Sundlun was a practicing attorney.
  • 1948
    Age 28
    In September 1948 Sundlun flew surplus B-17 bombers from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona to the newly created state of Israel to help form the Israeli Air Force.
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  • 1945
    Age 25
    Despite ending his active service in 1945, he remained in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and rose through the officer ranks until he retired as a Colonel in 1980 after serving with the 376th Troop Carrier Squadron at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts, and the 459th Troop Carrier Group, Medium at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland He was a member of the Rhode Island Commandery of the Military Order of Foreign Wars, a military society of commissioned officers who served during wartime and their descendants.
    In August 1945, Sundlun attained the rank of captain, and left active service at the end of the war.
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  • 1944
    Age 24
    Later under the orders of Dulles, he reentered France to act as a bombardment spotter for the Allied invasion of Marseille in mid-August 1944.
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    But after deciding that there was too much danger of capture or loss in the snowy Pyrenees, he made his way on stolen bicycles north-eastward across France and escaped into Switzerland on May 5, 1944 near Fêche-l'Église.
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  • 1943
    Age 23
    His plane the Damn Yankee was shot down over Nazi-occupied Jabbeke, Belgium on December 1, 1943 after the plane was damaged by flak during the bombing of Solingen, Germany, on his 13th mission.
    During overseas active duty beginning in June 1943, Sundlun served as a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot in the England-based 545th Bombardment Squadron, 384th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force at Grafton-Underwood Air Base.
  • 1941
    Age 21
    While still in college, Bruce Sundlun volunteered for service in the U.S. Army Air Forces Aviation Cadet Program on December 8, 1941, at Westover Field.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1938
    Age 18
    Upon finishing college classes begun in 1938, he received a B.A. from Williams College in 1946 after serving during World War II in the United States Army Air Forces flying B-17 bombers in the 8th Air Force in England.
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  • 1933
    Age 13
    In 1933, while attending Boy Scout camp at Camp Yawgoog, he fell through ice on a pond and was rescued by a young John Chafee; and while in high school, he was a track star and excelled in long jump events.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1920
    Age 0
    Sundlun was born in Providence on January 19, 1920, to Walter Irving Sundlun and Jennette "Jan" Zelda (Colitz) Sundlun.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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