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Richard Buell Ogilvie

Gov. Richard Buell Ogilvie

  • January 13, 1969 - January 8, 1973
  • Republican
  • February 22, 1923
  • May 10, 1988
  • Missouri
  • Yale University, Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Married Dorothy Shriver; one child
  • Army
  • Purple Heart


RICHARD B. OGILVIE was born on February 22, 1923, in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in 1947, and from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1949 with a LL.B. Ogilvie was a World War II veteran, serving as a tank commander and earning a Purple Heart and two Battle Stars. Ogilvie served as Assistant United States Attorney from 1954-55, Special Assistant to the United States Attorney General from 1958-61, Cook County Sheriff from 1963-67, and President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners from 1967-69. As Cook County district attorney, Ogilvie prosecuted several members of the Chicago mob in the 1950s. He served a single term as governor, from 1969 to 1973. In his term, he either created or energized the state EPA, Pollution Control Board, Institute for Environmental Quality, Institute for Social Policy, Illinois Bureau of Investigation, the Human Rights Commission, the Illinois Housing Development Authority, to name a few. He tried to recreate terribly depressed East St. Louis–to little avail. Governor Ogilvie presided over creation of a modern state constitution, restructuring of agencies and consolidation of budget-making under the executive branch. He launched an antipollution program and pushed the Regional Transportation Authority. But he is best known for pushing the state’s first income tax through the legislature in a bid to save a financially strapped Illinois. That accomplishment helped cripple his political career and he lost a reelection bid in 1972. Governor Ogilvie was a member of the National Governors’ Conference Executive Committee from 1971-72. He passed away May 10, 1988.


Governors of the American States, Commonwealths and Territories, National Governors' Conference, 1972.

Excerpts from biography: Governor Richard Ogilvie: In the Interest of the State

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