James R. Thompson
Name: James R. Thompson
Occupation: Leaders
Gender: Male
Birth Day: May 8, 1936
Age: 86
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Zodiac Sign: Gemini

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James R. Thompson

James R. Thompson was born on May 8, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois, United States (86 years old). James R. Thompson is a Leaders, zodiac sign: Gemini. Nationality: United States. Approx. Net Worth: Undisclosed.

Net Worth 2020

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Family Members

# Name Relationship Net Worth Salary Age Occupation
#1 Jayne Carr Spouse(s) N/A N/A N/A


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Biography Timeline


Thompson was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Agnes Josephine (Swanson) and James Robert Thompson, a physician. His maternal grandparents were Swedish. Thompson graduated from North Park Academy (now North Park University), studied at the University of Illinois at Chicago Navy Pier campus, and at Washington University in St. Louis. He received his J.D. from Northwestern University in 1959.


He tried and convicted many of Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley's top aides, most notably Alderman Thomas E. Keane and County Clerk Matt Danaher, on various corruption charges. People like Keane and Danaher, the mayor's point man on patronage were also major figures in the Cook County Democratic Party's political machine. These high-profile cases gave Thompson the celebrity that fueled his run for governor in 1976.

In the 1976 election, he won 65 percent of the vote over Democratic Secretary of State Michael Howlett, who had defeated incumbent Governor Dan Walker in the primary and who had the support of Chicago Mayor and Cook County Democratic Party chairman Richard J. Daley. Thompson was the first candidate for governor to receive over 3 million votes; his tally of 3,000,395 remains the largest number of votes ever cast for a candidate in an election for Governor of Illinois. His first term was for only two years because Illinois moved its gubernatorial election from presidential-election years to midterm-election years. Thompson was re-elected to a full four-year term in 1978 with 60 percent of the vote, defeating State Comptroller Michael Bakalis. In 1982, Thompson was very narrowly re-elected over former U.S. Senator Adlai E. Stevenson III. Thompson won the contest by only 5,074 votes. A rematch in 1986 was expected to be almost as close, but the Democrats were severely hamstrung when supporters of Lyndon LaRouche won the Democratic nominations for lieutenant governor and secretary of state. Stevenson refused to appear on the same ticket as the LaRouchites, and formed the Solidarity Party with the support of the regular state Democratic organization. With the Democrats badly split, Thompson skated to victory in the general election. Thompson was accused of hiding the sad shape that Illinois' economy and budget were in while campaigning, but once elected, called for an emergency session of the Illinois legislature to address the crisis.


On November 12, 1980, Thompson, by his executive order, instituted a hiring freeze for all state agencies, boards, bureaus, and commissions under his control as governor. The order affected approximately 60,000 state positions.


In 1989, Governor Thompson agreed to establish a compounding, 3 percent cost-of-living increase for retirees from Illinois government jobs, including public school teachers. Years later, in an interview with a Chicago business magazine, Thompson said he never knew the cost might exceed $1 billion and likely would not have signed it if he had known. In recent years, the cumulative effect of the 3 percent annual increases has been recognized as one of the major causes of Illinois' public employee pension crisis.


James R. Thompson was inducted as a laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the state's highest honor) by the governor of Illinois in 1991 in the area of Government.


In 1993, the State of Illinois Center in Chicago was renamed the James R. Thompson Center to honor the former governor.


In 2002, he was appointed to serve on the 9/11 Commission, where he aggressively questioned Richard Clarke, the former chief counter-terrorism adviser on the United States National Security Council. The report of the commission was released on July 22, 2004.


On April 17, 2006, Ryan was convicted on all 18 counts, which included racketeering, misusing state resources for political gain, and fraud. He was sentenced to 6½ years in federal prison and began serving his sentence on November 7, 2007. Ryan was released from federal prison on July 3, 2013.


During the 2008 presidential primary campaign, Thompson announced his support for former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani for the 2008 Republican nomination. He stressed that Giuliani was the only Republican in the field who could win Illinois.


Thompson died on August 14, 2020, at the age of 84.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, James R. Thompson is 87 years, 0 months and 21 days old. James R. Thompson will celebrate 88th birthday on a Wednesday 8th of May 2024.

Find out about James R. Thompson birthday activities in timeline view here.

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