John Hickenlooper

John Hickenlooper bigraphy, stories - American politician

John Hickenlooper : biography

07 February 1952 –

John Wright Hickenlooper (born February 7, 1952) is an American politician who has been Governor of Colorado since 2011. A Democrat, he was previously the Mayor of Denver, Colorado from 2003 to 2011.

Early life, education and career

Hickenlooper was born in Narberth, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia, a middle-class area of the suburban Main Line. Hickenlooper was raised by his mother after his father died young. He graduated from the nearby, private Haverford School for boys in 1970, going on to attend Wesleyan University where he received a B.A. in English in 1974 and a master’s degree in geology in 1980.

Before becoming mayor in July 2003 he was a geologist turned entrepreneur. He is often considered a prominent figure in the LoDo urban renewal period during the early 1990s. Hickenlooper owned several restaurants in LoDo in the late 1980s, before the area’s renewal. He was one of the founders of the original Wynkoop Brewing Company brewpub; these and others companies contributed to the redevelopment of the area following the arrival of major league baseball in the neighborhood. The area had been known to be dangerous; Hickenlooper is quoted as saying, "I must’ve had rocks in my head." The rent for Wynkoop’s real estate was $1 per square foot per year."", by Rick Reilly, Sports Illustrated, October 2007

Personal life

Hickenlooper’s wife (from whom he is currently separated), Helen Thorpe, is a writer whose work has been published in The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, George, and Texas Monthly. Prior to the separation, they lived in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood with their son, Teddy. Upon taking office as Governor, Hickenlooper and his family decided to maintain their private residence instead of moving to the Colorado Governor’s Mansion. On July 31, 2012, Gov. Hickenlooper announced that he and his wife were separating after 10 years of marriage.

Following his separation from his wife, Hickenlooper moved into the Colorado Governor’s Mansion

In 2010, Hickenlooper told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he and Thorpe attend Quaker meetings and try to live by Quaker values.

A cousin, George Hickenlooper, was an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker before his death in late 2010. John made a cameo appearance in George’s 2010 film Casino Jack.

Other relatives include Olga Hickenlooper (a.k.a. Olga Samaroff), a concert pianist who was the first wife of conductor Leopold Stokowski, and Bourke Hickenlooper, who served as Governor of Iowa and as U.S. Senator from Iowa.

Hickenlooper appears in Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Timequake. In November 2012, Esquire interviewed Hickenlooper as one of the "Americans of the Year 2012"., Esquire Magazine. By Robert Sanchez. November 16, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012. Hickenlooper has been an advocate of bringing the experience of business leaders into government service and has reached out to the business community through events which bring together executives government, education, and corporate sectors such as ‘s IT Conferences. As a result he has been the inspiration for, as well as the focus of, a book on effective governance: Leadocracy, by author and consultant Geoff Smart, in which Smart explores why business leaders should serve in public office in order to make state or local governments run more effectively and efficiently., Denver Business Journal. By Ed Sealover. July 3, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012.

Political positions

Campaign for the homeless

Hickenlooper has campaigned for increasing homeless services since taking office in 2003. He announced a "10 year plan to end homelessness" at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.

Cannabis legalization

In 2006, Denver became one of the first major U.S. cities to legalize the medical use of and decriminalize possession (of less than one ounce) of cannabis by those over age 18. Hickenlooper opposed the cannabis rescheduling initiative, which voters approved 53.49%–46.51%, but he did say that the vote "reflect[s] a genuine shift in people’s attitudes". Under the current Denver Police interpretation of the law, supported by Hickenlooper, the initiative doesn’t usurp the state law, the Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS). The CRS currently treats cannabis possession similarly to exceeding a speed limit, with fines of up to $100 and no jail time. In 2012, Amendment 64 was added to the Colorado constitution allowing possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for those over 21 for recreational use. Though Hickenlooper has been publicly against this policy as well, he does say he will enforce the will of the people.