Dr. H. Rupert Theobald served as chief of the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau for 30 years: 1964–1994. At the time of his retirement in May 1994, his tenure as director of a legislative service agency was the longest in the country.
Dr. Theobald provided an invaluable resource to the legislature as its institutional memory and source of nonpartisan, reliable information on a wide range of topics. The expertise he amassed in redistricting, state government reorganization, constitutional law, parliamentary procedure, legislative rules, and computer applications - all highly technical subjects which required much dedication and discipline to master - reflected both his intellect and his willingness to do whatever it took to get the job done.
He was generous with his time and knowledge, and over his career he helped many both inside and outside the legislature. He assisted the Wisconsin Supreme Court with redistricting, the executive branch with state government reorganization, served with great distinction on numerous national committees, and assisted other states as a consultant.
In recognition of his lifetime of service, the legislature, in 1993 Enrolled Joint Resolution 12, ordered the 1995–1996 Wisconsin Blue Book be dedicated to Dr. H. Rupert Theobald and directed that the Legislative Reference Bureau library be named the Dr. H. Rupert Theobald Legislative Library. The legislature also ordered that a bas relief portrait of Dr. Theobald be cast and installed in the Assembly Chambers. With his retirement, the legislature lost the long memory and powerful intellect of someone who cares deeply about the institution. For those who were fortunate enough to work with him, Dr. Theobald’s standards of excellence, which he set by diligent example, will continue to guide us in the future.
Adapted from the 1995–1996 Wisconsin Blue Book, [p. iv-v]