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Broomfield Center for Leadership
William S. Broomfield

Broomfield and Dali Lama
Broomfield and the Dali Lama

Broomfield and Mandela
Broomfield and Nelson Mandela
Former U.S. Congressman Bill Broomfield has passed away at the age of 96. Broomfield Center for Leadership at the Rochester Hills Museum Lives On.

If you would like to give a financial donation in memory and honor of U.S. Congressman Bill Broomfield, please use the PayPal donate button below, or mail a check made out to the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester to 1005 Van Hoosen Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48306.           
Obituary written by Nancy Aiken Broomfield (daughter)

Retired, 18 term U.S. Congressman, William S. Broomfield of Kensington, Maryland and formerly of Birmingham, Michigan passed on February 20, 2019. He was born April 28, 1922 and raised in Royal Oak, Mi. After serving in the Army Air Corp during WW2, he returned home to begin his career, first as a real estate developer and then in public service.

He won his first election at age 26 for the Mi. State Legislature by 80 votes. He ran for two more terms and was elected Speaker Pro Tem before his election to the Mi. State Senate in 1954. He left Lansing to run for U.S. Congress in 1956 representing Oakland County and continued to represent this district until his retirement in January 1993.

Known for his exemplary constituent service and optimistic personality, Broomfield was considered untouchable, oftentimes winning elections with over 70% of the vote. He demonstrated an ethical integrity that was beyond reproach. During his 36-year career, 32 were spent serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, 18 as Ranking Minority Member.

From this committee he was able to be intimately involved in our nation’s foreign policy from the Cold War to the taking down of the Berlin Wall. Like many of the greatest generation, he was a fiscal conservative and believed in the principle that democracy equaled freedom. He was unwavering in his support of Israel, South Korea, and Greece. Despite his focus on world affairs he felt his most important career vote was for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

He brought extensive knowledge to many international and parliamentary conferences as well as Presidential commissions. President Johnson appointed him to the UN General Assembly in 1967, he was a delegate to SALT, NATO, UNESCO, and was a member of the joint House-Senate Committee on Iran-Contra. In 1974 he travelled to China as part of a delegation to meet with Chinese officials after diplomatic relations had been restored.

During his years as Ranking Minority Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, he was responsible for shepherding the legislative agenda of the Reagan and Bush Administrations on matters concerning El Salvador, Nicaragua, the Middle East and the Soviet Union. After the bugging of the US Embassy in Moscow he called for the enhanced Embassy construction security at our diplomatic facilities around the world. He sponsored legislation that created the Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program and the Foreign Airport Security Act. His reputation as a consensus builder was respected on both sides of the aisle and he received numerous awards for foreign policy achievements.

He was also recognized for his work on the House Small Business Committee where he appreciated the challenges facing entrepreneurs and worked to create an environment for businesses to prosper.

Since retiring he established a foundation with his excess campaign funds to give back to Michigan non-profits. In 2001 he was honored when the Royal Oak Post Office was renamed for him, by an act of the U.S. Congress.

Memberships included the Capitol Hill Club, President 1970-74, along with several service organizations.

He was proud to be awarded the 33° of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.

Although his work took him around the globe, he was happiest at home with his family. He leaves 2 devoted daughters, Nancy (Casey) Aiken; Barbara (Stephen)Shaffer and 4 grandchildren; Case (Carter)Aiken; Christina Aiken; Stephen (Christa) Shaffer; Lindsay (Andrew)Sheckells. He was married to his wife Jane for 62 years until her passing. He was the son of the late Dr. S.C. and Fern Broomfield of Royal Oak, Michigan.

Memorial services will take place in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and Washington, D.C.

In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Broomfield Leadership Center at the Rochester Hills Museum would be appreciated. Please use the PayPal button provided above, or mail a check made out to the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester to 1005 Van Hoosen Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48306.

Who Is Representative William S. Broomfield?

William S. Broomfield served in the Michigan State House of Representatives (1949-1954) where he served as Speaker Pro Tempore in 1953 and served in the State Senate from 1955-1956. Also, Broomfield served as a member of the US House of Representatives from 1957-1993 where he served the 18th and 19th districts of Michigan. During his time he experienced the Cold War and many leaders associated with the time including Nelson Mandela, Anwar Sadat, the Dali Lama and many more.

As a ranking member on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Broomfield had considerable influence on the Cold War. He noted in his final newsletter to his constituents, “I have been privileged to have had a seat near the center of that epic and protracted conflict – through all sorts of Cold War conflicts, major and minor: the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, the crisis in 1962; the war in Vietnam in the 1960’s and 1970’s; the Solidarity Movement in Poland; the dismantling of the Berlin Wall in 1989; the freeing of the Captive Nations; the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991; and all sorts of other conflicts ranging from the Falkland Islands to the Congo to Teheran and Tiananmen Square.”

What is his connection to the Rochester Hills Museum?

Born in Royal Oak, Michigan on April 28, 1922 to Naomi ‘Fern’ Taylor and Dr. S. C. Broomfield, Bill joined a family with deep Oakland County roots.

A plaque in memory of Broomfield’s mother is housed at the entrance of the Van Hoosen Dairy Barn and reads: 
 Fern Taylor McLott Broomfield
A fifth generation descendant of the Lemuel Taylor Family, the original settlers of Stoney Creek Village.
Cousin of Sarah Van Hoosen Jones

What is The Broomfield Center for Leadership?

The Broomfield Center for Leadership will consist of lectures, seminars, and programs that reflect on various leadership topics that will be discussed and shared with our community and cover a broad range of topics from politics, philanthropy, history, and more. It will also reflect on core democratic principals and provide programs that educate and challenge our community to be active members of a democratic society.

Programs will be held in the Museum’s adaptively reused Calf Barn which was philanthropically supported by the Broomfield Charitable Trust.

How will The Broomfield Center for Leadership serve the museum and our community?

The Rochester Hills Museum will house archival papers from Congressman Broomfield and these materials will be available for research about the Cold War and the exceptional leadership of Congressman Broomfield.

 “People tell you it must be hard to work with Congress, but then, I think of people like you and I can respond that Congress is made up of dedicated, outstanding men and women, like Bill Broomfield, who are totally committed to the welfare of our country and its people…”
General Colin L. Powell
Assistant to the president for National Security Affairs
December 22, 1988 

 Past Lectures

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