Red text on top of a blue outline of the state of Illinois on a white background
James R. Thompson was the longest serving Governor of the state of Illinois. The Republican was first elected in 1976 and served until 1991. A graduate of Northwestern Law School, prior to his role as governor, Thompson served as the federal prosecutor for the state and convicted many high level politicians of corruption. He was a popular governor and is credited with effectively handling the state’s finances by balancing the budget during a difficult national recession. After leaving office, Thompson held high positions in private law firms, and was one of 10 members appointed to the 9/11 Commission.