Lasting Impact

David Walsh's has dedicated his personal and professional journey to changing people's lives

David Walsh is a pioneer in the truest sense of the word. While his father started the cable industry in Wisconsin when he received the first franchise in 1969, Walsh, along with former Milwaukee Bucks owner Jim Fitzgerald, operated more than forty cable television stations statewide.

As an attorney, Walsh is an expert in telecommunications law and helped develop the state’s modern court structure. Last year, the Wisconsin Law Foundation honored his four decades of service to the legal profession and to the public.

For most of us, that would be enough. For Walsh, he’s just getting started. Today, his passion is stem cell research, and for good reason. David’s wife has progressive multiple sclerosis and his two sons have a rare illness known as Usher syndrome, a condition that leads to mild to severe hearing and eyesight loss. While his oldest son uses hearing aids to mitigate the loss, his younger son, also an attorney, is ninety percent blind. His only hope to regain full eyesight is to replace the cells in his retina.

Walsh first reached out to then-U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, who helped secure grant funding for stem cell research. In Madison, Walsh’s efforts have resulted in financial support to the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, where associate professor David Gamm is conducting stem cell research on syndromes related to hearing and eyesight loss.

In the last decade, Walsh and his wife, Nancy, have become leading advocates for stem cell research, pushing to keep government funding available to find cures for MS, Usher syndrome and other diseases.

What started out of love for family has grown into a passion for helping others. Here’s hoping Washington listens and Walsh and his family can get what they’ve given.


  • Madison native
  • Part-owner of the Milwaukee
  • Brewers for over 10 years
  • Chair of UW Hospital and Clinics
  • Past president and current member of the UW Board of
  • Board member of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce
  • Past president of the Madison Opportunity Center

The Breakdown


Props to the Urban League of Greater Madison for hosting a community forum with impressive young students from the Urban Preparatory Academy of Chicago. For those of us in attendance, it was an opportunity to preview the kind of future leaders the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy charter school could produce some day.


Gov. Scott Walker’s budget bills have Wisconsin’s middle class talking (and fighting) among themselves. Let’s hope lawmakers on both sides of the aisle figure out a way to work together for the people of this state—not for big-money donors, corporations or union interests.


A huge shout out to UMOJA Magazine, The Madison Times, “Club TNT” and the Capital City Hues for being there to report positive stories involving people of color in the greater Madison area. Even though you’re not always acknowledged, we in the community know you’re always around. Thank you.

Derrell Connor hosts “Outreach” on NewsTalk 1310 WIBA, pens a column for Channel 3000 and freelances for Madison Magazine.

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