Jim Thompson

Former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson Dies At 84

Aug 15, 2020
IMSA Digital Commons

The Republican was Illinois' longest-serving governor from 1977-1991. He was known as "Big Jim" due to his six foot six frame.

According to his biography from the Abraham Lincoln Presidental Library and Museum based in Springfield, Thompson first came to prominence as a U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.  He prosecuted former governor Otto Kerner on corruption charges.


On the state's 113th day without a budget, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner sloughed off critical comments Thursday made by his a pair of his predecessors.

Former Gov. Jim Edgar's still a popular figure within the Illinois GOP, which is why the harsh nature of his recent remarks garnered a lot of attention. Edgar scolded Rauner for putting his pro-business agenda ahead of the budget.

Then another Republican Governor from the past - James Thompson -- also said that Illinois is in the worst position it's ever been.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson never attended Northern Illinois University…but this weekend, his connections to the law school earned him an honorary doctorate.

Winston and Strawn

NIU's College of Law will present an Honorary Doctorate of Law to former Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson during its Saturday, May 25, commencement ceremony. He will also be  the commencement speaker.