Big Jim Thompson of Illinois
James Robert Thompson’s political career as governor of Illinois had its roots in associations, contacts and friends with connection in the Republican and conservative circles of the state legal community. These sources and experiences led him to appointment in 1971 by President Richard M. Nixon as U. S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois (basically Chicago). In the four years of his service he assembled a team of exceptionally talented young prosecuting attorneys and then set his eyes on prosecuting high-profile political subjects, many of whom worked for Mayor Richard J. Daley. Several persons were sent to prison.
Thompson’s biggest “fish” caught was the prosecution and conviction of former Governor Otto Kerner, then a federal appeals court judge. Kerner was convicted for accepting the gift of stock from a Chicago racetrack owner, presumably for special favors from the administration. The trial, conviction and sentencing Kerner to prison created headlines across the nation, elevating Thompson as a prospective candidate for governor in 1976. Thompson was elected governor and served fourteen years in office before retiring. This book covers only his first two years in office.
Received an Award of Merit from the Illinois State Historical Society.
ISBN 10: 0528818244
ISBN 13: 9780528818240
Hartley gives Thompson credit for being an outstanding prosecutor and goes out of his way to dispel the two worst rumors: That he is a homosexual and that Richard Nixon was behind a politically motivated prosecution of Otto Kerner.