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2    WHEREAS, James Robert Thompson Jr., the 37th Governor of
3Illinois, was born on May 8, 1936 in Chicago; as a child and
4young adult, he pursued an education in the American Midwest,
5taking college courses at the University of Illinois at Chicago
6(Navy Pier) and graduating from Washington University in St.
7Louis; and
8    WHEREAS, As an aspiring lawyer, Gov. Jim Thompson studied
9at Northwestern University's School of Law, earning his Juris
10Doctor degree in 1959; he was subsequently admitted to the
11Illinois bar and began pursuing a lifelong legal career; and
12    WHEREAS, Gov. Jim Thompson began his legal career as a
13practitioner in public service, earning experience in the
14office of the Cook County State's Attorney, where as a
1526-year-old lawyer, he argued the landmark case of Escobedo v.
16Illinois in the United States Supreme Court; after several
17years as an associate professor at the Northwestern University
18School of Law, he joined the office of the United States
19Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois as First
20Assistant U.S. Attorney; during this time, he authored several
21textbooks on criminal law and procedure; and
22    WHEREAS, In 1971, Gov. Jim Thompson was appointed by



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1President Richard Nixon to serve as the United States Attorney
2for the Northern District of Illinois, which encompasses all of
3metropolitan Chicago; and
4    WHEREAS, As the U.S. Attorney with responsibility for
5prosecuting federal offenses committed in the greater Chicago
6area, Gov. Jim Thompson became legendary among his fellow
7federal prosecutors and among the citizens of Illinois for his
8aggressive pursuit of criminals in both organized and white
9collar crimes; and
10    WHEREAS, During his time as a U.S. Attorney, Gov. Jim
11Thompson and his office won a string of convictions, with
12targets ranging from organized criminal figures involved in
13illegal drug distribution to corrupt elected public officials,
14including a high-profile conviction of federal judge Otto
15Kerner, a former governor; and
16    WHEREAS, In November of 1976, Gov. Jim Thompson ran as a
17member of the Republican Party on a "War on Crime" platform; he
18won the office of Governor of Illinois with a landslide margin
19of more than 1.3 million votes from his fellow Illinoisans; and
20    WHEREAS, In pursuit of one of the principal planks of his
21election platform, Gov. Jim Thompson worked with the law
22enforcement community and with the Illinois General Assembly to



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1develop comprehensive amendatory language within the Criminal
2Code of 1961, with a focus on illegal drug distribution and
3violent criminal offenses; and
4    WHEREAS, A key feature of the rewritten Criminal Code added
5a new classification of punishment, the Class X felony, for
6which a variety of serious offenders could be sentenced to
7serve terms of from six to 30 years in a State correctional
8center; and
9    WHEREAS, Due to a quirk in the then-new Illinois
10Constitution of 1970, the term of office to which Gov. Jim
11Thompson had been elected in November of 1976 was only two
12years long; he ran for re-election in 1978, winning by almost
13600,000 votes; and
14    WHEREAS, In his second term, Gov. Jim Thompson faced the
15worldwide inflationary spiral and energy crisis of 1979-80; as
16challenges grew, he built alliances downstate, including the
17selection of sites for new State correctional centers to be
18built to house the rapidly increasing number of inmates that
19were the result of the new Class X felony law; and
20    WHEREAS, In his closest elective contest in 1982, Gov. Jim
21Thompson was elected to his third term by a margin of 5,074
22votes, less than one vote per precinct; the same election saw



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1the Democratic Party win large margins in the Illinois House of
2Representatives and the Illinois Senate, which they would enjoy
3for the rest of his time in office; and
4    WHEREAS, As a third-term Republican governor facing
5Democratic legislative majorities, Gov. Jim Thompson turned to
6the deal-making for which he is remembered; in 1985, he
7developed and worked with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle
8to enact Build Illinois, the statewide infrastructure program;
10    WHEREAS, Gov. Jim Thompson demanded that all citizens of
11Illinois be included in the progress of this great State; this
12included the expansion of interstate highways to previously
13underserved areas of Illinois, as well as securing the Illinois
14State Fair and the DuQuoin State Fair, where he is still
15remembered fondly; and
16    WHEREAS, Gov. Jim Thompson brought his love of art and
17history to office with him, making cultural preservation a part
18of state government, including the establishment of the
19Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, requiring that all
20state building construction include budgets for art, and
21personally orchestrating the purchase of the Dana-Thomas house
22in Springfield, a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece now enjoyed by
23people from Illinois and around the world; and



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1    WHEREAS, Running on a platform that included continuance of
2Build Illinois initiatives, Gov. Jim Thompson sought election
3to his fourth and final term, winning in November of 1986 by a
4landslide margin of almost 400,000 votes; and
5    WHEREAS, Gov. Jim Thompson chose not to seek re-election in
6November of 1990, retiring from the Governor's Mansion after
7four terms that spanned 14 years in office, the longest period
8of time enjoyed as governor by any individual up to that date,
9or at any time since; and
10    WHEREAS, Gov. Jim Thompson was a loyal Republican, always
11responsive to the members of his own party who requested his
12assistance, but also was willing and eager to negotiate and
13compromise with Democratic leaders, who controlled one or both
14houses of the Illinois General Assembly during much of the time
15of his governorship; and
16    WHEREAS, After leaving office as governor in January of
171991 and returning to the private sector, Gov. Jim Thompson
18once again took up the active practice of law, joining the
19international firm of Winston & Strawn as CEO and building a
20network of legal professionals that would, by the time of his
21retirement from that firm, span the globe; and



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1    WHEREAS, In addition to his work with Winston & Strawn,
2Gov. Jim Thompson was appointed to a series of positions that
3reflected his standing in the highest ranks of American private
4citizens; in 1990, he was appointed by President George H.W.
5Bush to chair the President's Intelligence Advisory Board, the
6panel that protects independent oversight over the national
7security/intelligence organs of the United States, serving in
8this role until 1993; and
9    WHEREAS, In 2002, Gov. Jim Thompson was appointed to serve
10on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United
11States, commonly known as the 9/11 Commission, to examine and
12report on U.S. preparedness for the events of 9/11/01; he
13helped draft the commission's report, of which the public
14portion was completed and released in 2004; and
15    WHEREAS, Gov. Jim Thompson is best remembered as a loyal
16friend and peerless mentor; in his professional life, his
17proudest moments were watching the myriad successes of his
18protegees; as a prosecutor, governor, and an attorney in the
19private sector, he fostered the careers of countless women and
20men who have moved to the highest ranks in their profession; as
21governor, he sought out the highest levels of talent and
22selected for promotion a list of public servants that includes
23his successor Jim Edgar, the 38th Governor of Illinois; and



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1    WHEREAS, Gov. Jim Thompson was happiest with his beloved
2family, including his wife of 44 years, Jayne Carr Thompson,
3and his daughter, Samantha; in later years, he was often found
4babysitting his granddaughter, Persephone, who was the light of
5his life; and
6    WHEREAS, As a politician, a public servant, a lawyer, and a
7senior legal executive, Gov. Jim Thompson was noted for his
8gregarious personality; his larger than life persona enabled
9him to convey an effortless atmosphere of power and dignity;
10even when sliding down the giant slide at the Illinois State
11Fairgrounds, his joyous embrace of the governorship endeared
12him to citizens from all over the State of Illinois; therefore,
13be it
16SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that we mourn the death of James R.
17Thompson, elected four times as Governor of Illinois, the
18longest period of time enjoyed by any Illinoisan in our State's
19highest office; and be it further
20    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
21presented to Gov. Jim Thompson's widow, Jayne Carr Thompson,
22and to his daughter, Samantha, his son-in-law, Anastasios
23Thomazos, and his granddaughter, Persephone.