Legislators formally honor Mr. D for leadership at Arlington Park, service to nation

State legislators formally commended Richard Duchossois for his service to the nation, state and sport of horse racing in a resolution that mourns his recent passing.

House Resolution 712, approved last week during the spring session in Springfield, was filed by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. Chief co-sponsors included state Rep. Martin McLaughlin, a Barrington Hills Republican who represents the area where Duchossois lived, and state Rep. Jonathan Carroll, a Northbrook Democrat whose district includes a portion of Arlington Heights.

The resolution remembers Duchossois, who died Jan. 28 at age 100, for his "leadership, humility, generosity, tenacity, patriotism, philanthropy and kindness to others."

Recalling the role of "Mr. D" in leadership and management of Arlington Park, the resolution highlights the businessman's fearlessness in rallying the track to host its signature event, the Arlington Million, just days after a devastating fire that destroyed the grandstand and clubhouse.

"An iconic image that hung in Arlington Park is of the park's grandstand after the 1985 fire saying: 'QUIT? HELL NO!'" said state Rep. Brad Stephens, a Rosemont Republican and the town's mayor, who also was a co-sponsor on the resolution. "Dick Duchossois embodied this spirit in his life."

The resolution also recognizes Duchossois' decorated military service, including his command of a Tank Destroyer Company during five European campaigns in World War II, and award of two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart.

The House and Senate adopted similar resolutions in honor of Duchossois in February.

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