List of governors of Illinois

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Governor of Illinois
Seal of Illinois.svg
Flag of Illinois.svg
Incumbent
J. B. Pritzker

since January 14, 2019
Residence Illinois Governor's Mansion
Term length Four years, no term limits
Inaugural holder Shadrach Bond
Formation October 6, 1818 (1818-10-06)
Salary $177,412 (2015)[1]
Website www2.illinois.gov/gov/

The governor of Illinois is the head of government of the U.S. state of Illinois. The governor is the head of the executive branch of Illinois's state government and is charged with enforcing state laws. The governor has the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Illinois Legislature, to convene the legislature, and to grant pardons, except in cases of impeachment.[2] The governor is also the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.

Since becoming a state in 1818, 43 people have served as governor of Illinois; before statehood, it had only 1 territorial governor, Ninian Edwards. The longest-serving governor was James R. Thompson, who was elected to four terms lasting 14 years, from 1977 to 1991. Only one governor, Richard J. Oglesby, has served multiple separate terms, having been elected in 1864, 1872, and 1884.

One governor, Rod Blagojevich, was impeached and removed from office in 2009. Four of Illinois' seven governors between 1961 and 2009 were imprisoned for various forms of corruption.[3] Governor Walker was imprisoned for irregularities at a bank where he was an officer, for actions unrelated to his previous office of governor.[4] The current governor is J. B. Pritzker, who took office on January 14, 2019.[5]

Governors

Governor of the Territory of Illinois

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, Ninian Edwards. From March to June 1809, Territorial Secretary Nathaniel Pope served as acting governor until Edwards arrived in Illinois.[6]

Governor of the Territory of Illinois
Portrait Governor Term in office Appointed by
Ninian.Edwards.png Ninian Edwards
    March 17, 1775 – July 20, 1833   
(aged 58)
March 1, 1809

October 6, 1818
Thomas Jefferson

Governors of the State of Illinois

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.[7]

The first Illinois Constitution, ratified in 1818, provided that a governor be elected every 4 years[8] for a term starting on the first Monday in the December following an election.[9] The constitution of 1848 moved the start of the term to the second Monday in January starting in 1849, thus shortening the term won in the 1844 election to 2 years.[10] Governors were not allowed to succeed themselves[9] until the 1870 constitution, which removed this limit.

The office of lieutenant governor was created in the first constitution,[11] to exercise the power of governor if that office becomes vacant.[12] The 1848 constitution changed this to say the power "devolves" upon the lieutenant governor in case of a vacancy.[13] The current constitution of 1970 made it so that, in the event of a vacancy, the lieutenant becomes governor,[14] and the governor and lieutenant governor are now elected on the same ticket.[15] If the governor feels seriously impeded in performing their job, they can inform the secretary of state and the next in the line of succession, who becomes acting governor until the governor can resume office.[14]

Governors of the State of Illinois
No.[lower-alpha 1] Governor Term in office Party Election Lt. Governor[lower-alpha 2][lower-alpha 3]
1 Shadrach.Bond.png style="background-color:#FFFF00;" width=10px | "|  Shadrach Bond
    November 30, 1773 – April 12, 1832   
(aged 58)
October 6, 1818

December 5, 1822
(term limited)
Independent 1818 style="background-color:#FFFF00;" width=10px | "|  Pierre Menard
2 Edward.Coles.png Edward Coles
    December 15, 1786 – July 7, 1868   
(aged 81)
December 5, 1822

December 6, 1826
(term limited)
Independent 1822 Adolphus Hubbard
3 Ninian.Edwards.png style="background-color:#008000;" width=10px | "|  Ninian Edwards
    March 17, 1775 – July 20, 1833   
(aged 58)
December 6, 1826

December 6, 1830
(term limited)
Adams-Clay
Republican
1826 style="background-color:#008000;" width=10px | "|  William Kinney
4 75px style="background-color:#F0F071;" width=10px | "| John Reynolds
    February 26, 1788 – May 8, 1865   
(aged 77)
December 6, 1830

November 17, 1834
(resigned)[lower-alpha 4]
National Republican 1830 style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Zadok Casey
(resigned March 1, 1833)
William Lee D. Ewing
(acting)
5 William Lee Davidson Ewing bioguide.jpg style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| William Lee D. Ewing
    August 31, 1795 – March 25, 1846   
(aged 50)
November 17, 1834

December 3, 1834
(successor took office)
Democratic Lieutenant
Governor
acting as
Governor
Vacant
6 Governor Joseph Duncan.jpg style="background-color:#F0DC82;" width=10px | "| Joseph Duncan
    February 22, 1794 – January 15, 1844   
(aged 49)
December 3, 1834

December 7, 1838
(term limited)
Whig 1834 style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Alexander M. Jenkins[lower-alpha 5]
(resigned December 9, 1836)
William H. Davidson[lower-alpha 5]
(acting)
7 75px style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Thomas Carlin
    July 18, 1789 – February 14, 1852   
(aged 62)
December 7, 1838

December 8, 1842
(term limited)
Democratic 1838 Stinson Anderson
8 75px Thomas Ford
    December 5, 1800 – November 3, 1850   
(aged 49)
December 8, 1842

December 9, 1846
(term limited)
Democratic 1842 John Moore
9 Augustus.C.French.jpg Augustus C. French
    August 2, 1808 – September 4, 1864   
(aged 56)
December 9, 1846

January 10, 1853
(term limited)
Democratic 1846[lower-alpha 6] Joseph Wells
1848 William McMurtry
10 Joel.A.Matteson.png Joel Aldrich Matteson
    August 8, 1808 – January 31, 1873   
(aged 64)
January 10, 1853

January 12, 1857
(term limited)
Democratic 1852 Gustav Koerner
11 William.H.Bissel.jpg style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| William Henry Bissell
    April 25, 1811 – March 18, 1860   
(aged 48)
January 12, 1857

March 18, 1860
(died in office)
Republican 1856 style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| John Wood
12 John.Wood.png John Wood
    December 20, 1798 – June 4, 1880   
(aged 81)
March 18, 1860

January 14, 1861
(not candidate for election)
Republican Lieutenant
Governor
acting as
Governor
style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Thomas Marshall[lower-alpha 5]
(acting)
13 Richard.Yates.1.jpg Richard Yates
    January 18, 1815 – November 27, 1873   
(aged 58)
January 14, 1861

January 16, 1865
(term limited)
Republican 1860 style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| Francis Hoffmann
14 Richard James Oglesby.jpg Richard J. Oglesby
    July 25, 1824 – April 24, 1899   
(aged 74)
January 16, 1865

January 11, 1869
(term limited)
Republican 1864 William Bross
15 John.M.Palmer.jpg John M. Palmer
    September 13, 1817 – September 25, 1900   
(aged 83)
January 11, 1869

January 13, 1873
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1868 John Dougherty
14 Richard James Oglesby.jpg Richard J. Oglesby
    July 25, 1824 – April 24, 1899   
(aged 74)
January 13, 1873

January 23, 1873
(resigned)[lower-alpha 7]
Republican 1872 John Lourie Beveridge
16 John.L.Beveridge.1.jpg John Lourie Beveridge
    July 6, 1824 – May 3, 1910   
(aged 85)
January 23, 1873

January 8, 1877
(not candidate for election)
Republican Lieutenant
Governor
acting as
Governor
John Early
(acting)
(term ended January 8, 1875)
style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Archibald A. Glenn[lower-alpha 5]
(acting)
17 Shelby Moore Cullom - Brady-Handy.jpg Shelby Moore Cullom
    November 22, 1829 – January 28, 1914   
(aged 84)
January 8, 1877

February 5, 1883
(resigned)[lower-alpha 8]
Republican 1876 style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| Andrew Shuman
1880 John Marshall Hamilton
18 75px John Marshall Hamilton
    May 28, 1847 – September 22, 1905   
(aged 58)
February 5, 1883

January 30, 1885
(not candidate for election)
Republican Lieutenant
Governor
acting as
Governor
William J. Campbell
(acting)
14 Richard James Oglesby.jpg Richard J. Oglesby
    July 25, 1824 – April 24, 1899   
(aged 74)
January 30, 1885

January 14, 1889
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1884 John C. Smith
19 Joseph.W.Fifer.jpg Joseph W. Fifer
    October 28, 1840 – August 6, 1938   
(aged 97)
January 14, 1889

January 10, 1893
(lost election)
Republican 1888 Lyman Beecher Ray
20 John Peter Altgeld.jpg style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| John Peter Altgeld
    December 30, 1847 – March 12, 1902   
(aged 54)
January 10, 1893

January 11, 1897
(lost election)
Democratic 1892 style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Joseph B. Gill
21 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| John Riley Tanner
    April 4, 1844 – May 23, 1901   
(aged 57)
January 11, 1897

January 14, 1901
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1896 style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| William Northcott
22 Richard Yates Jr.jpg Richard Yates Jr.
    December 12, 1860 – April 11, 1936   
(aged 75)
January 14, 1901

January 9, 1905
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1900
23 Charles.S.Deneen.jpg Charles S. Deneen
    May 4, 1863 – February 5, 1940   
(aged 69)
January 9, 1905

February 3, 1913
(lost election)
Republican 1904 Lawrence Yates Sherman
1908 John G. Oglesby
24 EFDunne.jpg style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Edward Fitzsimmons Dunne
    October 12, 1853 – May 24, 1937   
(aged 83)
February 3, 1913

January 8, 1917
(lost election)
Democratic 1912 style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Barratt O'Hara
25 Frank O Lowden portrait.jpg style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| Frank Orren Lowden
    January 26, 1861 – March 20, 1943   
(aged 82)
January 8, 1917

January 10, 1921
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1916 style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| John G. Oglesby
26 Lensmall.jpg Len Small
    June 16, 1862 – May 17, 1936   
(aged 73)
January 10, 1921

January 14, 1929
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1920 Fred E. Sterling
1924
27 75px Louis Lincoln Emmerson
    December 27, 1863 – February 4, 1941   
(aged 77)
January 14, 1929

January 9, 1933
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1928
28 Henry Horner.jpg style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Henry Horner
    November 30, 1878 – October 6, 1940   
(aged 61)
January 9, 1933

October 6, 1940
(died in office)
Democratic 1932 style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Thomas Donovan
1936 John Henry Stelle
29 75px John Henry Stelle
    August 10, 1891 – July 5, 1962   
(aged 70)
October 6, 1940

January 13, 1941
(not candidate for election)
Democratic Lieutenant
Governor
acting as
Governor
Vacant
30 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| Dwight H. Green
    January 9, 1897 – February 20, 1958   
(aged 61)
January 13, 1941

January 10, 1949
(lost election)
Republican 1940 style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| Hugh W. Cross
1944
31 75px style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Adlai Stevenson II
    February 5, 1900 – July 14, 1965   
(aged 65)
January 10, 1949

January 12, 1953
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1948 style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Sherwood Dixon
32 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| William Stratton
    February 26, 1914 – March 2, 2001   
(aged 87)
January 12, 1953

January 9, 1961
(lost election)
Republican 1952 style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| John William Chapman
1956
33 Otto Kerner cropped.png style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Otto Kerner Jr.
    August 15, 1908 – May 9, 1976   
(aged 67)
January 9, 1961

May 21, 1968
(resigned)[lower-alpha 9]
Democratic 1960 style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Samuel H. Shapiro
1964
34 75px Samuel H. Shapiro
    April 25, 1907 – March 16, 1987   
(aged 79)
May 21, 1968

January 13, 1969
Democratic Lieutenant
Governor
acting as
Governor
Vacant
35 Richard B. Ogilvie.jpg style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| Richard B. Ogilvie
    February 22, 1923 – May 10, 1988   
(aged 65)
January 13, 1969

January 8, 1973
(lost election)
Republican 1968 style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Paul Simon[lower-alpha 5]
36 75px style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Dan Walker
    August 6, 1922 – April 29, 2015   
(aged 92)
January 8, 1973

January 10, 1977
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1972 Neil Hartigan
37 Bio thompson.jpg style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| James R. Thompson
    May 8, 1936 – August 14, 2020   
(aged 84)
January 10, 1977

January 14, 1991
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1976[lower-alpha 10] style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| Dave O'Neal
(resigned July 31, 1981)
1978
Vacant
1982 style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| George Ryan
1986
38 75px Jim Edgar
    (1946-07-22) July 22, 1946 (age 76)
January 14, 1991

January 11, 1999
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1990 Bob Kustra
(resigned July 1, 1998)
1994
Vacant
39 75px George Ryan
    (1934-02-24) February 24, 1934 (age 88)
January 11, 1999

January 13, 2003
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1998 style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| Corinne Wood
40 75px style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Rod Blagojevich
    (1956-12-10) December 10, 1956 (age 65)
January 13, 2003

January 29, 2009
(impeached and removed)[lower-alpha 11]
Democratic 2002 style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Pat Quinn
2006
41 Governor Pat Quinn.jpg Pat Quinn
    (1948-12-16) December 16, 1948 (age 73)
January 29, 2009

January 12, 2015
(lost election)
Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Vacant
2010 style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Sheila Simon
42 75px style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| Bruce Rauner
    (1956-02-18) February 18, 1956 (age 66)
January 12, 2015

January 14, 2019
(lost election)
Republican 2014 style="background-color:#FF3333;" width=10px | "| Evelyn Sanguinetti
43 75px style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| J. B. Pritzker
    (1965-01-19) January 19, 1965 (age 57)
January 14, 2019

Incumbent[lower-alpha 12]
Democratic 2018 style="background-color:#3333FF;" width=10px | "| Juliana Stratton

Living former governors of Illinois

As of 8 December 2022, five former governors of Illinois are currently living, the oldest being George Ryan (served 1999–2003, born 1934). The most recent and most recently serving governor of Illinois to die was James R. Thompson (served 1977–1991), on August 14, 2020.[27]

Governor Gubernatorial term Date of birth (and age)
George Ryan 1999–2003 (1934-02-24) February 24, 1934 (age 88)
Jim Edgar 1991–1999 (1946-07-22) July 22, 1946 (age 76)
Pat Quinn 2009–2015 (1948-12-16) December 16, 1948 (age 73)
Bruce Rauner 2015–2019 (1956-02-18) February 18, 1956 (age 66)
Rod Blagojevich 2003–2009 (1956-12-10) December 10, 1956 (age 65)

See also

Notes

  1. Based on the official site labeling Bruce Rauner as the 42nd governor,[16] it is assumed the official numbering includes repeat governors only once; subsequent terms are marked with their original number italicized.
  2. Lieutenant governors represented the same party as their governor unless noted.
  3. When the lieutenant governor is serving as governor, the Illinois Blue Book considers the president pro tempore of the senate to be acting lieutenant governor. However, this only applies to acting lieutenant governors before 1883; after that, there are no acting lieutenant governors noted, and instead these are marked vacant. It is unknown why this changed; the constitution does not appear to have any relevant changes around that time.[17]
  4. Reynolds resigned to take elected seat in the United States House of Representatives.[18]
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Represented the Democratic Party
  6. The election schedule was shifted after this term, shortening it to two years.[10]
  7. Oglesby resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate.[19][20]
  8. Cullom resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate.[21]
  9. Kerner resigned to take seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.[22][23]
  10. The schedule for the 1970 constitution provided that the 1976 election would be for a two-year term, shifting the election schedule away from presidential election years.[24]
  11. Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office on charges of corruption.[25][26]
  12. Pritzker's first term expires on January 9, 2023.

References

General
Constitutions
Specific
  1. "Governors' Salaries, 2015". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. IL Const. art. V
  3. "4 of Illinois' last 7 governors went to prison". Kankakee Daily Journal. 2013-01-30. Retrieved 2019-06-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "4 out of previous 7 Illinois governors (Kerner, Walker, Ryan and Blagojevich) went to prison". WLS-TV Eyewitness News. 2013-01-13. Retrieved 2019-06-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Election Results". Elections.il.gov. Retrieved January 1, 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Robert P. Howard (1988), Mostly Good and Competent Men: Illinois Governors, 1818–1988, Illinois Issues and the Illinois State Historical Society, 39–40.
  7. Stat. 536
  8. 1818 Const. art. III, § 2
  9. 9.0 9.1 1818 Const. art. III, § 3
  10. 10.0 10.1 1848 Const. art. IV, § 3
  11. 1818 Const. art. III, § 13
  12. 1818 Const. art. III, § 18
  13. 1848 Const. art. IV, § 19
  14. 14.0 14.1 IL Const. art. V, § 6
  15. IL Const. art. V, § 4
  16. "About the Governor". State of Illinois. Archived from the original on 2018-04-26. Retrieved April 25, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Illinois Blue Book, p. 360
  18. "John Reynolds". National Governors Association. Retrieved June 1, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Richard James Oglesby". National Governors Association. Retrieved June 1, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Nomination of Gov. Oglesby for United States Senator". The New York Times. January 10, 1873. Retrieved June 1, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Shelby Moore Cullom". National Governors Association. Retrieved June 1, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Otto Kerner". National Governors Association. Retrieved June 1, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Otto Kerner Goes to Jail Today, His Once‐Shining Career at End". The New York Times. July 29, 1974. Retrieved June 1, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Lousin, Ann (2011). The Illinois State Constitution. Oxford University Press. p. 130. ISBN 9780199766925.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Rod R. Blagojevich". National Governors Association. Retrieved June 1, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Blagojevich Ousted by Illinois State Senate". The New York Times. January 29, 2009. Retrieved June 1, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Steinberg, Neil (August 15, 2020). "Former Gov. James Thompson, a giant of Illinois politics, dead at 84". Chicago Sun-Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>