List of Governors of Illinois

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The Governor of Illinois is the head of the executive branch of Illinois's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Illinois Legislature, to convene the legislature, and to grant pardons.[1] Governors and other statewide officials are chosen to four-year terms in the off-year cycle (not in the same year as the presidential elections).

Governors[edit]

Governor of the Territory of Illinois[edit]

Illinois Territory was formed on March 1, 1809, from Indiana Territory. It had only one governor appointed by the President of the United States before it became a state. From March to June, 1809, Territorial Secretary Nathaniel Pope served as acting governor; Edwards' arrival in Illinois ended Pope's brief administration.[2]

# Governor Term in office Appointed by
1 Ninian.Edwards.png Ninian Edwards March 1, 1809

October 6, 1818
James Madison

Governors of the State of Illinois[edit]

Illinois was admitted to the Union on December 3, 1818, consisting of the southern portion of Illinois Territory; the remainder was assigned to Michigan Territory.

The first Illinois Constitution, ratified in 1818, provided that a governor be elected every four years[3] for a term starting on the first Monday in the December following an election.[4] The constitution of 1848 moved the start of the term to the second Monday in January.[5] Governors were not allowed to succeed themselves[6] until the 1870 constitution, which removed this limit.

The office of lieutenant governor was created in the first constitution,[7] to exercise the power of governor if that office becomes vacant.[8] The 1848 constitution changed this to say the power "devolves" upon the lieutenant governor in case of a vacancy.[9] The current constitution of 1970 made it so that, in the event of a vacancy, the lieutenant becomes governor,[10] and the governor and lieutenant governor are now elected on the same ticket.[11]

#[a] Governor Term in office Party Election Lt. Governor[b]
1   Shadrach.Bond.png Shadrach Bond October 6, 1818

December 5, 1822
Independent 1818   Pierre Menard
2 Edward.Coles.png Edward Coles December 5, 1822

December 6, 1826
Independent 1822 Adolphus Hubbard
3   Ninian.Edwards.png Ninian Edwards December 6, 1826

December 6, 1830
Adams-Clay
Republican
1826   William Kinney
4 John.Reynolds.png John Reynolds December 6, 1830

November 17, 1834
Democratic 1830
[c]
Zadok Casey
(resigned March 1, 1833)
William Lee D. Ewing
5 William Lee Davidson Ewing bioguide.jpg William Lee D. Ewing November 17, 1834

December 3, 1834
Democratic Vacant
6 Governor Joseph Duncan.jpg Joseph Duncan December 3, 1834

December 7, 1838
Whig 1834 Alexander Jenkins
(resigned December 9, 1836)
William H. Davidson[d]
7 Governor Thomas Carlin.jpg Thomas Carlin December 7, 1838

December 8, 1842
Democratic 1838 Stinson Anderson
8 Governor Thomas Ford.jpg Thomas Ford December 8, 1842

December 9, 1846
Democratic 1842 John Moore
9 Augustus.C.French.jpg Augustus C. French December 9, 1846

January 10, 1853
Democratic 1846
[e]
Joseph Wells
1848 William McMurtry
10 Joel.A.Matteson.png Joel Aldrich Matteson January 10, 1853

January 12, 1857
Democratic 1852 Gustavus Koerner
11 William.H.Bissel.jpg William Henry Bissell January 12, 1857

March 18, 1860
Republican 1856
[f]
John Wood
12 John.Wood.png John Wood March 18, 1860

January 14, 1861
Republican Vacant
Thomas Marshall[d]
13 Richard.Yates.1.jpg Richard Yates January 14, 1861

January 16, 1865
Republican 1860 Francis Hoffmann
14 Richard James Oglesby.jpg Richard J. Oglesby January 16, 1865

January 11, 1869
Republican 1864 William Bross
15 John.M.Palmer.jpg John M. Palmer January 11, 1869

January 13, 1873
Republican 1868 John Dougherty
14 Richard James Oglesby.jpg Richard J. Oglesby January 13, 1873

January 23, 1873
Republican 1872
[g]
John Lourie Beveridge
16 John.L.Beveridge.1.jpg John Lourie Beveridge January 23, 1873

January 8, 1877
Republican John Early
(term ended January 8, 1875)
Archibald Glenn[d]
17 Shelby Moore Cullom - Brady-Handy.jpg Shelby Moore Cullom January 8, 1877

February 5, 1883
Republican 1876 Andrew Shuman
1880
[h]
John Marshall Hamilton
18 John.Marshall.Hamilton.jpg John Marshall Hamilton February 5, 1883

January 30, 1885
Republican William Campbell
14 Richard James Oglesby.jpg Richard J. Oglesby January 30, 1885

January 14, 1889
Republican 1884 John Smith
19 Joseph.W.Fifer.jpg Joseph W. Fifer January 14, 1889

January 10, 1893
Republican 1888 Lyman Ray
20 John Peter Altgeld.jpg John Peter Altgeld January 10, 1893

January 11, 1897
Democratic 1892 Joseph B. Gill
21 John.R.Tanner.jpg John R. Tanner January 11, 1897

January 14, 1901
Republican 1896 William Northcott
22 Richard Yates Jr.jpg Richard Yates, Jr. January 14, 1901

January 9, 1905
Republican 1900
23 Charles.S.Deneen.jpg Charles S. Deneen January 9, 1905

February 3, 1913
Republican 1904 Lawrence Sherman
1908 John G. Oglesby
24 EFDunne.jpg Edward F. Dunne February 3, 1913

January 8, 1917
Democratic 1912 Barratt O'Hara
25 Frank O Lowden portrait.jpg Frank O. Lowden January 8, 1917

January 10, 1921
Republican 1916 John G. Oglesby
26 Lensmall.jpg Len Small January 10, 1921

January 14, 1929
Republican 1920 Fred E. Sterling
1924
27 Louis Lincoln Emmerson.jpg Louis L. Emmerson January 14, 1929

January 9, 1933
Republican 1928
28 Henry Horner.jpg Henry Horner January 9, 1933

October 6, 1940
Democratic 1932 Thomas Donovan
1936
[i]
John H. Stelle
29 John stelle.png John H. Stelle October 6, 1940

January 13, 1941
Democratic Vacant
30 Dwight H. Green cph.3b30070.jpg Dwight H. Green January 13, 1941

January 10, 1949
Republican 1940 Hugh W. Cross
1944
31 AdlaiEStevenson1900-1965.jpg Adlai E. Stevenson II January 10, 1949

January 12, 1953
Democratic 1948 Sherwood Dixon
32 William Stratton.jpg William G. Stratton January 12, 1953

January 9, 1961
Republican 1952 John William Chapman
1956
33 Otto Kerner cropped.png Otto Kerner, Jr. January 9, 1961

May 21, 1968
Democratic 1960 Samuel H. Shapiro
1964
[j]
34 Sam Shapiro.png Samuel H. Shapiro May 21, 1968

January 13, 1969
Democratic Vacant
35 Richard B. Ogilvie.jpg Richard Buell Ogilvie January 13, 1969

January 8, 1973
Republican 1968 Paul Simon[d]
36 ILLINOIS GOVERNOR DAN WALKER GREETS CHICAGO CONSTITUENTS DURING THE BUD BILLIKEN DAY PARADE, ONE OF THE LARGEST... - NARA - 556272 (cropped).jpg Dan Walker January 8, 1973

January 10, 1977
Democratic 1972 Neil Hartigan
37 Bio thompson.jpg James R. Thompson January 10, 1977

January 14, 1991
Republican 1976
[k]
Dave O'Neal
(resigned July 31, 1981)
1978
Vacant
1982 George Ryan
1986
38 JimEdgar2013.png Jim Edgar January 14, 1991

January 11, 1999
Republican 1990 Bob Kustra
1994
39 2007 Governor George Ryan crop4.JPG George Ryan January 11, 1999

January 13, 2003
Republican 1998 Corinne Wood
40 Blagojevich greeting students at Ill State U. in 2006.jpg Rod Blagojevich January 13, 2003

January 29, 2009
Democratic 2002 Pat Quinn
2006
[l]
41 Governor Pat Quinn.jpg Pat Quinn January 29, 2009

January 12, 2015
Democratic Vacant
2010 Sheila Simon
42 Bruce Rauner 2016 cropped.jpg Bruce Rauner January 12, 2015

Present
Republican 2014
[m]
Evelyn Sanguinetti

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Based on Jim Edgar being the 38th governor Archived 2007-09-21 at the Wayback Machine., repeat governors are officially only numbered once; subsequent terms are marked with their original number italicized.
  2. ^ Lieutenant governors represented the same party as their governor unless noted.
  3. ^ Reynolds resigned to take elected seat in the United States House of Representatives; as acting lieutenant governor, Ewing acted as governor for the remainder of the term.
  4. ^ a b c d Represented the Democratic Party.
  5. ^ The election schedule was shifted after this term, shortening it to two years.
  6. ^ Bissell died in office; as lieutenant governor, Wood acted as governor for the remainder of the term.
  7. ^ Oglesby resigned so that Lieutenant Governor Beveridge would appoint him to the United States Senate; as lieutenant governor, Beveridge acted as governor for the remainder of the term.
  8. ^ Cullom resigned to take elected seat in the United States Senate; as lieutenant governor, Hamilton acted as governor for the remainder of the term.
  9. ^ Horner died in office; as lieutenant governor, Stelle acted as governor for the remainder of the term.
  10. ^ Kerner resigned to take seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; as lieutenant governor, Shapiro acted as governor for the remainder of the term.
  11. ^ A constitutional amendment came into effect with this term, moving the election schedule to coincide with Congressional midterms and shortening the term by two years.
  12. ^ Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office on charges of corruption; as lieutenant governor, Quinn succeeded him.
  13. ^ Governor Rauner's term expires on January 14, 2019.


Living former U.S. governors of Illinois[edit]

As of January 2017, there are five former U.S. governors of Illinois who are currently living at this time, the oldest U.S. governor of Illinois being George Ryan (served 1999–2003, born 1934). The most recent death of a former U.S. governor of Illinois was that of Dan Walker (served 1973–1977, born 1922), who died on April 29, 2015 at the age of 92. Walker was also the most recently serving U.S. governor of Illinois to die, having left office on January 10, 1977.

Governor Gubernatorial term Date of birth (and age)
James R. Thompson 1977–1991 (1936-05-08) May 8, 1936 (age 81)
Jim Edgar 1991–1999 (1946-07-22) July 22, 1946 (age 71)
George Ryan 1999–2003 (1934-02-24) February 24, 1934 (age 83)
Rod Blagojevich 2003–2009 (1956-12-10) December 10, 1956 (age 60)
Pat Quinn 2009–2015 (1948-12-16) December 16, 1948 (age 68)

References[edit]

  1. ^ IL Const. art. V
  2. ^ Robert P. Howard (1988), Mostly Good and Competent Men: Illinois Governors, 1818–1988, Illinois Issues and the Illinois State Historical Society, 39–40.
  3. ^ 1818 Const. art. III, § 2
  4. ^ 1818 Const. art. III, § 3
  5. ^ 1848 Const. art. IV, § 3
  6. ^ 1818 Const. art. III, § 3
  7. ^ 1818 Const. art. III, § 13
  8. ^ 1818 Const. art. III, § 18
  9. ^ 1848 Const. art. IV, § 19
  10. ^ IL Const. art. V, § 6
  11. ^ IL Const. art. V, § 4
Sources