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Otto Kerner, Jr.
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    (August 15, 1908-May 9, 1976)
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Governor of Illinois (1961-68)
    Appointed chairman of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders in 1967 by President Lyndon B. Johnson
    Became a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (1968-74)
    Convicted in 1973 on 17 counts of bribery, conspiracy and perjury
    Died of cancer in Chicago at age 67
    A crooked Chicago politician. Who would've thunk?
    As a lawyer in 1950 he unsuccessfully prosecuted auto exec Preston Tucker for alleged fraud.
    His downfall came when the owner of Arlington Park and Washington Park race tracks filed on her 1969 federal income tax the stock she bribed him with as a deduction, citing the paying off of politicians was a normal cost of doing business in Illinois.
    Convicted in 1973 and sentenced to three years in federal prison and a $50,000 fine, he resigned as federal judge rather than be impeached.
    The prosecuting attorney who successfully won the conviction was future Illinois governor James R. Thompson.
    He did not serve the entire three years behind bars as he was given an early release on compassionate grounds due to terminal cancer.
    He may have been the first former Illinois governor to serve time in federal prison, but certainly not the last.
    He received a B.A. from Brown University (1930) and a law degree from Northwestern U. (1934)
    He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and earned a Bronze Star Medal for merit and the Soldier's Medal for rescuing a drowning soldier.
    During his 20 year military service (1934-54), he rose to the rank of major general before retiring.
    In 1934, he married Helena Cermak, daughter of slain Chicago mayor Anton Cermak, and remained married for 42 years until his death.
    While serving as judge in the Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County during the 1950s, he was a strong advocate for reform of adoption laws and procedures.
    As governor, he championed such causes as equal access to jobs and housing, economic development, education and mental health services issues.
    As a war hero, he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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