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Rocheser, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Rochester man who received presidential honors for his advocacy efforts on behalf of people with disabilities has died.

David Schwartzkopf was 79 years old. According to his obituary, posted by Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home, Schwarzkopf had cerebral palsy and became blind due to macular degeneration as a child.

He came to Rochester after being hired by IBM in the late 1960s as a Systems Programmer. While working for Big Blue, Schwartzkopf also served as the Assistant Commissioner of Rehabilitation under Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich.

His obituary says Schwartzkopf later became the executive director of the Southeastern Minnesota Center for Independent Living Rochester and assisted in the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Throughout his career in the private and public sectors, David received numerous awards. Two awards were from presidents, three from governors, and one from the mayor of Rochester. Several other agencies also formally recognized David. George H. W. Bush personally presented the 1990 Disabled American of the Year Award to David in Washington D.C. The city of Rochester awarded David the Medal of Honor in 1987.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a limited Celebration of Life will be held in Rochester by invitation only.

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