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Longtime Ohio lawmaker and former Senate president Stanley Aronoff dies at 91

Longtime Ohio lawmaker Stanley Aronoff along with the riverfront in Cincinnati, in a photo provided by his law firm Aronoff, Rosen & Hunt.
Aronoff, Rosen & Hunt
Longtime Ohio lawmaker Stanley Aronoff along with the riverfront in Cincinnati, in a photo provided by his law firm Aronoff, Rosen & Hunt.

Stanley Aronoff, a longtime state lawmaker and a giant in Ohio politics, has died. Aronoff was known for his dedication to Cincinnati and to the eight-year, $113 million renovation of the Statehouse in the late 90s. He was 91.

Aronoff served in both chambers of the legislature, serving two terms in the House and 30 years in the Senate. He finished his 36-year legislative career in 1996 as Senate president.

While in the legislature, Aronoff sponsored the bill to move the primary to the third Tuesday in March in presidential election years, and the bill that created the Ohio Arts Council.

Aronoff announced his retirement in the last week of 1995. A few months later, he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of filing inaccurate disclosures of speaking fees in a "pancaking" scandal that also ensnared Democratic former House Speaker Vern Riffe and nine others. Aronoff was also among many lawmakers who have been charged with drunk driving, after he hit a pillar in the Statehouse garage in 2000. He pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors in 2000.

Gov. Mike DeWine, who served with Aronoff in the Ohio Senate, described him as "a passionate advocate for the arts." DeWine added that Aronoff was "a driving force behind the restoration of the Ohio Statehouse, making sure that there was adequate funding and long-term vision to bring the Statehouse complex, including the Senate Annex, back to its original Greek-revival style with the functionality for use in the modern era."

Aronoff practiced law for 57 years at the Cincinnati law firm Aronoff, Rosen & Hunt, established by his father Irwin. Managing partner Tina Donnelly said in a statement: “He was forever a friend to everyone....He was very personable and never met a stranger. "

Aronoff's legacy lives on in three buildings named for him. One is the Stanley J. Aronoff Center for the Arts in downtown Cincinnati, which he enlisted Democratic Gov. Richard Celeste to help him plan and fund. There are two academic buildings bearing his name: the Aronoff Center for Design and Art on the University of Cincinnati’s main campus and the Stanley J. Aronoff Laboratory of Biological Sciences at the Ohio State University main campus in Columbus.
Copyright 2024 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.