Early life and career
Celeste was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives from Cuyahoga County in 1970. His Ohio House District included western Cleveland and Lakewood, where his father Frank, had once served as mayor. He was subsequently elected the 55th Lieutenant Governor
in 1974 (defeating Republican John W. Brown
, serving under the Republican James A. Rhodes
—at the time, Ohio's lieutenant governor was elected separately from the governor, so the victors could be of different parties). In 1978, Celeste ran for governor, but lost to incumbent Rhodes
. President Carter
appointed Celeste Director of the Peace Corps
from 1979 to 1981, where he was responsible for programs in 53 countries.
Governor of Ohio
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. (January 2009)
As governor, Celeste increased support for human services, mental health & addiction recovery services, funding for education and children services including providing onsite daycare for state employees. Before the Celeste era, Ohio ranked near the bottom among states in funding for these programs. Celeste and the Democratic-controlled legislature increased the state income tax by approximately 40% while also retaining a temporary tax of 50% instituted by the Republican predecessors. Celeste is noted for opening many government positions to African Americans
and women—he hired more women to cabinet positions than all previous governors combined. Celeste also allowed state employee unions to negotiate wages and benefits, rather than just working conditions. At the end of his last term he commuted several Ohio prisoners death sentences to life terms. Among them was Debra Brown
's along with the sentences of most alleged battered women serving sentences at Marysville state prison for murdering their alleged aggressors. He also commuted Donald Lee Maurer to life in prison. Maurer had been convicted of raping and killing his 8 year old Massillon neighbor Dawn Marie Hendershot in the early 1980s. He opposed nuclear power in Ohio over evacuation plans.
Under the Celestes, the Governor's art exhibits, chamber music concerts and First Lady's spiritual retreats and theology gatherings as well as Christmas and Hanukkah parties for neighborhood kids became regular seasonal events. The Residence Gardens, especially the rose garden, one of the oldest in the nation, were reconstituted and The Friends of the Residence were formed, with Les Wexner as their first president, to help raise private funds to defray the cost of those improvements.
Post-gubernatorial political career
Celeste then established the consulting firm Celeste & Sabety Ltd. in Columbus
. After he served as the director of the DNC
's healthcare campaign in 1993, President Clinton
appointed him as United States Ambassador to India
, a position he served in from 1997 to 2001.
As of 2020, Celeste along with other former governor Bob Taft
have helped establish and lead a task force to help expand Covid-19
testing in Ohio.
President of Colorado College
During his tenure as president, Celeste raised $200 million for such things as capital improvements and scholarships to help disadvantaged and minority students. His other accomplishments included Addition of 20 tenure-track faculty positions, a large increase in the size of the student applicant pool, from 3,533 in 2003 to 4,455 in 2010, and an increase in selectivity, with 55.9 percent of applicants accepted in 2003 to 33.3 percent accepted in 2010.
Celeste oversaw major renovations of campus buildings, including Palmer Hall, Cossitt Hall and Packard Hall; construction of the interdisciplinary Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center.
In 2004, a Jewish group upset called for Celeste's resignation after he invited a high-profile Palestinian to give a lecture.
Celeste was known for bringing the community and the college together. He was the president of the Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership, the Colorado Economics Future Panel, the NCAA Presidential Task Force on the Future of Intercollegiate Athletics, and the Colorado Forum, which tackles public policy issues.
Celeste has since retired as President of Colorado College
. He started serving as President in 2002, and was replaced in July 2011 by Jill Tiefenthaler
, provost and economics professor at Wake Forest University.
Celeste had six children (now grown) with his first wife, Dagmar. The couple divorced in 1995.
Celeste is currently married to Jacqueline Lundquist. Celeste and Lundquist have one child, Sam. Celeste has 13 grandchildren, including two who were students at Colorado College and one who is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University.
His brother, Theodore S. Celeste
, successfully ran as a Democratic Party candidate for the Ohio House in 2006.
The Celeste Center
at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair
in Columbus, Ohio, is named in honor of Celeste. The Richard F. Celeste Laboratory of Chemistry on the Columbus Campus of The Ohio State University is named in honor of the former Governor. In addition, the Richard F. Celeste Theater at the Cornerstone Arts Center of Colorado College is named in honor of his tenure as president.
- ^ https://case.edu/ech/articles/c/celeste-frank-palm
- ^  Archived 2013-12-21 at the Wayback Machine www.exeter.ox.ac.uk, Retrieved 1 September 2013
- ^ Peterson, Iver (9 June 1982). "Rep. Brown and Celeste Win Ohio Nominations". The New York Times.
- ^ "Richard F. Celeste - Ohio History Central". ohiohistorycentral.org. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
- ^ Bizjournals. "Glimcher elects Celeste to board, promotes VP" by Matt Burns. September 11, 2007.
- ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
- ^ "board of directors | Battelle for Kids". www.battelleforkids.org. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
- ^ "About us | Battelle for Kids". battelleforkids.org. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
- ^ Richardson, Seth A.; clevel; .com (2020-04-21). "Former Ohio Govs. Dick Celeste and Bob Taft will head coronavirus testing task force". cleveland. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
- ^ a b c d McGraw, Carol (May 5, 2011). "Celeste open to serendipitous future as CC tenure ends". The Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
- ^ Celeste, Dagmar Braun (2002). We Can Do Together: Impressions of a Recovering Feminist First Lady. Kent State University Press. p. 15. ISBN 9780873387187. divorce.
- ^ Hallett, Joe (January 1, 2013). "Retired Celeste reflects at 75 on his public career". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- ^ "Board Votes to Name Cornerstone Venue 'Richard F. Celeste Theatre'". Around the Block. 25 May 2011.
Last edited on 28 April 2021, at 11:17
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