He is married to Susan Mudd and has one son, Benjamin, and one daughter, Katherine. Susan is the great-granddaughter of Samuel Mudd, the doctor who treated President Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth.
Norquist can perhaps best be described as a "fiscally conservative socialist." He was strongly in favor of light rail as a solution for the city's transit problems and was known throughout the country for his anti-freeway stance and for the removal of the Park East Freeway, the largest highway ever purposely destroyed. He consistently reduced the property tax rate every year since becoming mayor and kept city budgets from growing beyond the rate of inflation.
One of the first controversies of Norquist's tenure occurred in 1988, when he took a trip to Israel. The trip was paid for by local Milwaukee Jewish organizations, but as a result of the controversy, Norquist afterward paid much of the cost himself. On his return, the Milwaukee Sentinel printed a political cartoon showing him getting off a plane dressed as a Hasidic Jewish rabbi. The cartoon created an uproar, and the Sentinel published an apology for it.
In December 2000, Norquist's future as mayor was thrown into doubt as a staff assistant, Marilyn Figueroa, alleged that the mayor had sexually harassed her. Norquist admitted to a five-year consensual affair, but the case refused to go away. When he was presented in June 2003 with the opportunity to lead the Congress for the New Urbanism, Norquist said that he would resign at the end of the year rather than serving his full term, which expired in April 2004. The announcement was timed to prevent a special election. Instead, the head of the common council, Marvin Pratt, served as acting mayor.
His term was marked by public conflicts with other city leaders, including Bo Black, former head of Summerfest; Arthur Jones, his one-time bodyguard who became chief of police; and Bradley DeBraska, head of the police union. Despite some conflict, Norquist's legacy in Milwaukee includes a decline in poverty, a boom in downtown housing, and reforms in both education and welfare.
Milwaukee Mayor's successor.(National Report)(Marvin Pratt will replace John Norquist as mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin)(Brief Article)(Illustration)
Oct 13, 2003; [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Caption: MILWAUKEE MAYOR'S SUCCESSOR: Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist (shown with Milwaukee City Council...
Corrections. (Oct. 4, 1994 issue errors and omissions in long-term bond tables; John Norquist Milwaukee budget proposal) (Correction Notice)
Oct 05, 1994; Production problems led to a number of errors and omissions in the new-issue volume tables that appeared yesterday. The...