William Scranton III

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William Worthington Scranton, III

Birthplace: Scranton, Lackawanna County , Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Scranton, Governor, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Mary Lowe Scranton
Brother of Private

Managed by: Private User
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About William Scranton III


William Worthington Scranton, III (born July 20, 1947, in Scranton, Pennsylvania) served as the 26th lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania from 1979 to 1987 in the administration of Governor Richard Thornburgh. He is the son of former Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton, and a member of the wealthy and politically influential Scranton family, the founders of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Early life

Scranton attended Yale University. After college he became the editor of a local newspaper in Mountaintop, Pennsylvania. In 1970, he went to Europe to study the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's method of Transcendental Meditation, and became a life-long practitioner of the Transcendental Meditation technique. He then became president and managing editor of the Greenstreet News Company. He entered politics as a member of the Republican State Committee in 1976.

Lieutenant Governor 1979-1987

In 1978, he won the Republican primary for lieutenant governor and later that year became the youngest person ever elected lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania. His dual role as Chairman of the Governor's Energy Council and Chairman of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council put him at the center of the Three Mile Island crisis in 1979. As Lieutenant Governor, Scranton hired Nat Goldhaber, a member of the Transcendental Meditation movement, as his top aide in Harrisburg. In 1982, he was unanimously elected as Chairman of the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors.

Candidate for Governor 1986

After his tenure as lieutenant governor, Scranton ran for Governor of Pennsylvania in 1986 against Bob Casey. The race was virtually tied until five days before election day when Casey's media consultants, led by a young James Carville, launched the now-infamous "guru" ad. This television advertisement portrayed Scranton as having been a regular drug user in the 1960s and mocked Scranton's interest in transcendental meditation and his ties to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The image of Scranton as a "long haired, dope- smoking hippie" is seen by political observers as having tipped the scales against Scranton in the socially conservative rural sections of Pennsylvania. Casey went on to win the election by a narrow margin of 79,216 out of 3.3 million votes cast.

Private Sector

After losing the 1986 election, Scranton exited politics and managed some California companies and start-up firms. He returned to Pennsylvania in 1994 to spend time with his family.

Scranton served on the board of directors for a number of Pennsylvania companies. He was Chairman of the Board of the Harleysville Group of Insurance Companies. He also co-founded and co-chaired the Great Valley Technology Alliance.

In 1992, Scranton donated $1,000 to the campaign of his friend John Hagelin, the Pittsburgh-born presidential candidate for the Transcendental Meditation-backed Natural Law Party. Scranton says he has always supported Republicans.

Candidate for Governor 2006

On October 17, 2005, Scranton formally announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Governor of Pennsylvania in 2006. After it became clear that Scranton would not win the Pennsylvania Republican Party endorsement, his campaign called for Pennsylvania change to an "open primary" election. Scranton dismissed his first two prior campaign managers over strategy issues.

In January 2006 Scranton fired his third campaign manager, Jim Seif, after Seif criticized Scranton's African American opponent during a television interview by saying, "the rich white guy in this campaign is Lynn Swann." In February 2006, after his request for an open primary was denied, Scranton announced that he was withdrawing from the race for Republican nomination for Governor of Pennsylvania.

Possible Candidate for Governor 2010

Scranton's name continued to surface as a possible Republican candidate to run for Governor in 2010, because Ed Rendell could not run for re-election. He created a new political action committee, GrowPAC.

He has maintained a presence in the political arena, speaking at the annual Pennsylvania Leadership Conference and testifying before the State House of Representatives budget hearing. In May 2007, Scranton joined the Board of Directors for the Commonwealth Foundation, a Harrisburg public policy research center.

On August 20, 2009, Scranton effecively ended speculation he would enter the race by endorsing 6th district Congressman Jim Gerlach for governor.

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William Scranton III's Timeline

July 20, 1947
Scranton, Lackawanna County , Pennsylvania, United States