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Kenneth Joel Rothman (October 11, 1935 – April 26, 2019) was an American lawyer and politician from Missouri. He served as the 41st Lieutenant Governor of Missouri from 1981 to 1985.

Ken Rothman
Kenneth J. Rothman.jpg
41st Lieutenant Governor of Missouri
In office
January 12, 1981 – January 14, 1985
GovernorKit Bond
Preceded byWilliam C. Phelps
Succeeded byHarriett Woods
65th Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives
In office
January 5, 1977 – January 7, 1981
Preceded byRichard J. Rabbitt
Succeeded byBob F. Griffin
Member of the Missouri House of Representatives from the 77th district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 7, 1981
Preceded byDorothy E. Meagher
Succeeded bySheila Lumpe
Member of the Missouri House of Representatives from the 36th district
In office
January 4, 1967 – January 3, 1973
Preceded byNone (new district)
Succeeded byLeo McKamey
Member of the Missouri House of Representatives from St. Louis district 8
In office
January 9, 1963 – January 4, 1967
Preceded byAlfred A. Speer
Succeeded byNone (district eliminated)
Personal details
Born(1935-10-11)October 11, 1935
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
DiedApril 26, 2019(2019-04-26) (aged 83)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Geraldine Jaffe (divorced)
Alma materWashington University in St. Louis


Rothman was born and raised in St. Louis and attended public schools. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with an Bachelor of Arts in history and political science and also received his law degree from Washington University.

Rothman served in the Missouri Air National Guard from 1953 to 1962 and was called to active duty during the Berlin Crisis of 1961. He worked as a prosecutor for St. Louis County before entering private law practice. Rothman's political career began with his election to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1962 representing the Clayton area. He was re-elected eight times. In 1973 he was chosen as Majority Leader and in 1976 he became Speaker of the House.

In 1980 Rothman was elected Lieutenant Governor, defeating Roy Blunt. In 1984, he was the Democratic nominee for Governor of Missouri but was defeated by Republican John Ashcroft.

From 2001, he served of counsel to the law firm of Capes, Sokol, Goodman and Sarachan PC.

Rothman's ex-wife, Geri Rothman-Serot, was the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate against Kit Bond in 1992. His son Daniel Rothman is an attorney in Des Moines Iowa. Ken Rothman was the first Jew elected to statewide office in the history of Missouri. [1]

Rothman died on April 26, 2019 in St. Louis, at the age of 83.[2]


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  2. ^ Erickson, Kurt; Suntrup, Jack (April 26, 2019). "Kenneth Rothman, former Missouri House speaker and lieutenant governor, dies". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Jefferson City, Missouri. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
Rothman in 1975
Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Phelps
Lieutenant Governor of Missouri
Succeeded by
Harriett Woods
Preceded by
Richard J. Rabbitt
Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives
1977– 1980
Succeeded by
Bob F. Griffin