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Robert William Kastenmeier Edit Profile

United States representative , lawyer , politician

Robert William Kastenmeier, American former Congressman. Bar: Wisconsin 1952. Recipient Rex Stout Award, Authors Guild Inc, 1977, Distinguished Serv Award, National Center for State Courts, 1985, Warren E. Burger Award, Institute Court Management, 1985, Justice Award, American Judicature Society, 1988.


Kastenmeier, Robert William was born on January 24, 1924 in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, United States. Son of Leo Henry and Lucille (Powers) Kastenmeier.


Kastenmeier was born in Beaver Dam, Dodge County, Wisconsin, and attended its public schools. He continued his education at Carleton College and at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he got his LL.B. in 1952, and was admitted to the bar and began to practice law in Watertown, Wisconsin.


Education Military service He entered the Army as a private in February 1943 and served in the Philippines. He was discharged on August 15, 1946 as a first lieutenant. Afterwards, he served in the War Department as a branch office director in the claims service in the Philippines from 1946 to 1948.

Political career In 1955, Kastenmeier was elected to the position of Justice of the Peace for Jefferson and Dodge Counties, and he served until 1959. Kastenmeier made an unsuccessful bid for Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district in 1956, losing to Republican Donald Tewes by 11 points. However, he sought a rematch in 1958 and defeated Tewes by 6,200 votes, being elected to congress for the first time.

However, he romped to a third term in 1964, and afterward only faced one other close contest, in 1980. He overall served from the 86th Congress to the 101st Congress. As a congressman, Kastenmeier was one of the managers appointed by the House in 1986 to conduct the impeachment proceedings against Harry E. Claiborne, a judge of the United States District Court for Nevada.

He was also on the Judiciary Committee involved in the creation of the Copyright Act of 1976. In 1990, Kastenmeier unexpectedly lost his re-election bid to Republican Scott Klug, a political newcomer who was nearly 30 years his junior. The Robert W. Kastenmeier United States Courthouse of the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin was named in his honor.

Kastenmeier lived in Arlington, Virginia. He died on March 20, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia.


  • He won a third race with Tewes in 1960, and faced another close contest in 1962.


  • Other Work

    • Contributor articles to law journals.


Served from private to 1st lieutenant, infantry United States Army, 1943-1946. Member of American Bar Association, United States Association of Former Members of Congress, Washington Institute Foreign Affairs.


Married Dorothy Chambers, June 27, 1952. Children: William, Andrew, Edward.

Leo Henry Kastenmeier

Lucille (Powers) Kastenmeier

Dorothy Chambers

William Kastenmeier

Andrew Kastenmeier

Edward Kastenmeier