Richard B. Ogilvie

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Not to be confused with earlier governor Richard J. Oglesby (1824–1899).
Richard B. Ogilvie
Richard B. Ogilvie.jpg
35th Governor of Illinois
In office
January 13, 1969 – January 8, 1973
Lieutenant Paul Simon
Preceded by Samuel H. Shapiro
Succeeded by Daniel Walker
Personal details
Born February 22, 1923
Kansas City, Missouri
Died May 10, 1988 (aged 65)
Chicago
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Dorthy Shriver
Profession Lawyer and Politician
Religion Presbyterian

Richard Buell Ogilvie (February 22, 1923 – May 10, 1988) was the 35th governor of Illinois and served from 1969 to 1973. A wounded combat veteran of World War II, he became known as the mafia-fighting sheriff of Cook County, Illinois, in the 1960s before becoming governor.

Education and Military service[edit]

He graduated from high school in Port Chester, New York, in 1940. While attending Yale University, he enlisted in the United States Army in 1942. As a tank commander in France, he was wounded and received the Purple Heart and two Battle Stars. Discharged in 1945, he resumed studies at Yale and in 1947, he earned a Bachelor of Arts majoring in American history. In 1949, he earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law. From 1950 to 1950 he practiced law in Chicago and served as an assistant United States Attorney from 1954–1955. From 1958 to 1961 he served as a special assistant to the United States Attorney General heading an office fighting organized crime in Chicago.[1][2]

Pre-gubernatorial political career[edit]

Ogilvie was elected as the sheriff of Cook County, Illinois's largest county by population, in 1962; he served in this position until 1967. While sheriff, he was elected President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners and served from 1967 to 1969, when he resigned upon being elected Governor of Illinois. As of 2010 he was the last member of the Republican Party to serve as the chief executive of Cook County.[1]

Governor of Illinois[edit]

He was elected governor as a Republican in 1968 against incumbent Democrat Sam Shapiro, taking 51.2% of the vote. His lieutenant governor was Democrat and future U.S. Senator Paul Simon, the only time that Illinois elected a Governor and Lt. Governor of different parties.[1] (However, on least two other occasions there was an acting Lt. Governor from the opposite party.[3])

Bolstered by large Republican majorities in the state house, Ogilvie embarked upon a major modernization of state government. He successfully advocated for a state constitutional convention, increased social spending, and secured Illinois' first state income tax. The latter was particularly unpopular with the electorate, and Ogilvie lost a close election to Daniel Walker in 1972, ending his career in elective office.

Post governorship[edit]

Oglivie had been considered a possible nominee to become Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation by President Richard Nixon.

In 1979, Governor Ogilvie was appointed as Trustee for the Milwaukee Road, a railroad that had entered bankruptcy. He oversaw its sale and reorganization into the Wisconsin Central Railroad.

Oglivie was the publisher of a revived Chicago Daily News in 1979, 18 months after its demise in 1978.

In 1987, he was appointed by then-Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole to chair a committee studying the proposed termination of Amtrak's federal subsidy.

Until his death in 1988, he was a partner in the distinguished Chicago law firm of Isham Lincoln & Beale, one of whose founders was Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln.

Death and legacy[edit]

After his death in Chicago May 10, 1988, Governor Ogilvie was cremated and interred in Rosehill Mausoleum, Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago.

The Ogilvie Transportation Center, from which Chicago-area Metra commuter passenger trains leave for destinations on the former Chicago and North Western, now the Union Pacific, is named in his honor. The modern railroad station uses the former C&NW trainshed.

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Seymour Simon
Cook County Board President
1966–1969
Succeeded by
George Dunne
Preceded by
Samuel H. Shapiro
Governor of Illinois
1969–1973
Succeeded by
Daniel Walker