September 3, 1930 - November 12, 2008
Catherine Baker Knoll was the 30th Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, serving under Governor Ed Rendell from 2003 to 2008. Knoll began her political career as a campaign worker for local and statewide Democratic candidates, first for her father, Nick, and later for Governor Milton Shapp. When Shapp was elected governor in 1970, he awarded Knoll a job with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
In 1988, one year after her husband's death, she ran and was elected State Treasurer of Pennsylvania. She streamlined and modernized the Treasurer's office during her eight year tenure and started the Pennsylvania TAP program (Tuition Account Program), built the PA Treasury Investment Center, and started a partnership with PA Home Builders, PA Community Banks, to build affordable Housing (in 67 counties of Pennsylvania) according to the population of each county.
In 2002, she sought the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. She won the nomination over endorsed candidate, State Senator Jack Wagner. Catherine Baker Knoll was sworn in as Lt. Governor on January 21, 2003. She was the first woman to hold that position. In November 2005, Senator and former Lieutenant Governor Robert Jubelirer proposed legislation in which the Lieutenant Governor's primary election would be dropped in favor of the gubernatorial candidate selecting a "running mate" in the November general election, similar to a presidential candidate selecting a running mate for the Presidential elections. On May 16, 2006, Knoll won the Democratic nomination by a large margin. On November 7, 2006, she and Governor Rendell defeated Republican challengers Lynn Swann and Jim Matthews.
In August 2008, Knoll revealed that she had been diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer and was in treatment for the disease. She was treated in Hershey, Pennsylvania at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and attempted a return to her duties in September 2008 but fatigue forced her to return home. In October 2008, she entered Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland for treatment of a viral infection. On November 12, 2008, Knoll died at National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC. Upon her death, Pennsylvania State Senate President pro tempore Joe Scarnati (R) became the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania.
1. Johnna A. Pro (2003-01-12). "Catherine Baker Knoll is making history as first female lieutenant governor". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. . Retrieved on 2009-03-12.
2. "Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll Reveals Cancer Fight". WTAE TV. 2008-08-20. http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/politics/17249929/detail.html. Retrieved on 2009-03-12.
3. Amy Worden (2008-10-17). "Pa.'s Lt. Gov. Knoll being treated for cancer". Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/pa/20081017_Pa__s_Lt__Gov__Knoll_being_treated_for_cancer.html. Retrieved on 2009-03-12.