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By Whitney Downard

Indiana Capital Chronicle

May 10, 2023

Bill Oesterle, 57, died at home Wednesday following a long career in politics, working with several prominent Republicans and co-founding one of Indiana’s largest publicly traded companies, Angie’s List.

Oesterle died from complications related to ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. It is often called Lou Gehrig’s disease.

A Purdue University graduate, Oesterle worked for former Gov. Robert Orr and Gov. Mitch Daniels at the Hudson Institute.

“I’m not often at a loss for words, but trying to imagine a world without Bill Oesterle leaves me that way. He was a job creator, a community builder, a lifelong advocate for Indiana and a person with an enormous heart for others,” Daniels said in a statement. “He always said I was the person who persuaded him to return to Indiana: If that is so, it’s the single service I’m most proud of.”

Oesterle co-founded the Orr Fellowship, which provides a learning experience for recent college graduates to hone entrepreneurial skills and found their own companies. Following Angie’s List, Oesterle worked at MakeMyMove, which seeks to recruit remote workers to small towns and cities.

As the manager of Daniels’ first gubernatorial campaign, Oesterle helped steer the business leader into the state’s chief executive role. Daniels recently rejected a call to rejoin politics and run for Indiana’s open U.S. Senate seat.

Oesterle again flexed his political prowess when former Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), leading the business community against the bill which he said was unfair to the LGBTQ community.

In lieu of flowers, family and friends are asking people to make a donation to Friends of 38th Street, a non-profit organization that seeks to uplift and advocate on behalf of the Indianapolis neighborhood.

Indiana Capital Chronicle is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Indiana Capital Chronicle maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Niki Kelly for questions: info@indianacapitalchronicle.com.

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