Images: Gov. "Big Jim" Thompson's career, connections

 
 
Updated 8/15/2020 5:13 PM

Former Illinois Gov. James "Big Jim" Thompson died in Chicago Friday at age 84. Thompson served four terms, leaving office in 1991. He was a prosecutor and defended other governors against corruption charges.

Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson poses in his Chicago office in this Oct. 14, 1986, file photo. "Big Jim" Thompson spent 14 years in the governor's offic. He became governor by fighting corruption as a U.S. attorney. He defended other governors against corruption charges while facing questions about his own role in a business scandal. He led the fight to keep former Gov. George Ryan out of prison. An appeals court upheld Ryan's conviction Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2007, on a long list of racketeering and fraud charges, but Thompson demanded another review, claiming the trial was deeply flawed.
Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson poses in his Chicago office in this Oct. 14, 1986, file photo. "Big Jim" Thompson spent 14 years in the governor's offic. He became governor by fighting corruption as a U.S. attorney. He defended other governors against corruption charges while facing questions about his own role in a business scandal. He led the fight to keep former Gov. George Ryan out of prison. An appeals court upheld Ryan's conviction Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2007, on a long list of racketeering and fraud charges, but Thompson demanded another review, claiming the trial was deeply flawed.
Gov. Jim Thompson along with village President Carolyn Krause tour flooded neighborhoods in Mount Prospect in 1986.
Gov. Jim Thompson along with village President Carolyn Krause tour flooded neighborhoods in Mount Prospect in 1986.
From the offices of the Winston & Strawn Law firm in 2008, former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson talked about the fate of George Ryan.
From the offices of the Winston & Strawn Law firm in 2008, former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson talked about the fate of George Ryan.
Daily Herald file photoFrom the offices of the Winston & Strawn Law firm, former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson talks about the fate of George Ryan concerning the Supreme Court's denial to hear Ryan's case in 2008.
Daily Herald file photoFrom the offices of the Winston & Strawn Law firm, former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson talks about the fate of George Ryan concerning the Supreme Court's denial to hear Ryan's case in 2008.
Daily Herald file photoFormer Gov. Jim Thompson awaits testimony in the Conrad Black corruption trail at the Federal building in downtown Chicago in 2007.
Daily Herald file photoFormer Gov. Jim Thompson awaits testimony in the Conrad Black corruption trail at the Federal building in downtown Chicago in 2007.
In this Oct. 7, 1985 file photo, Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson, behind the wheel of a Chrysler convertible, is joined by G. Glenn Gardner, left, and Yoichi Nakane, after a news conference in Chicago.   Thompson, known as "Big Jim" during a long career that eventually made him the state's longest-serving chief executive, has died. He was 84. Thompson died Friday, Aug. 14, 2020 at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, his wife, Jayne, told the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.
In this Oct. 7, 1985 file photo, Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson, behind the wheel of a Chrysler convertible, is joined by G. Glenn Gardner, left, and Yoichi Nakane, after a news conference in Chicago. Thompson, known as "Big Jim" during a long career that eventually made him the state's longest-serving chief executive, has died. He was 84. Thompson died Friday, Aug. 14, 2020 at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, his wife, Jayne, told the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.
Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson, left, relaxes with a beverage as he visits then Lt. Gov. George Ryan at home in Kankakee, Ill., as Ryan recovers from an emergency appendectomy in June of 1985. Thompson headed Ryan's defense team during Ryan's racketeering and fraud trial that ended with a conviction in April 2006. Ryan is scheduled to report to the federal correctional facility in Oxford, Wis., by Nov. 7, 2007. (AP Photo/The (Kankakee) Daily Journal, File)
Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson, left, relaxes with a beverage as he visits then Lt. Gov. George Ryan at home in Kankakee, Ill., as Ryan recovers from an emergency appendectomy in June of 1985. Thompson headed Ryan's defense team during Ryan's racketeering and fraud trial that ended with a conviction in April 2006. Ryan is scheduled to report to the federal correctional facility in Oxford, Wis., by Nov. 7, 2007. (AP Photo/The (Kankakee) Daily Journal, File)
The Daily Herald Archives, Assignment # 100,435, Rich Chapman photo: Lech Walesa, founder of the Solidarity movement in Poland in the 1980s and President of Poland form 1990-1996, spoke in Chicago in November of 1989. Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson is pictured behind him.
The Daily Herald Archives, Assignment # 100,435, Rich Chapman photo: Lech Walesa, founder of the Solidarity movement in Poland in the 1980s and President of Poland form 1990-1996, spoke in Chicago in November of 1989. Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson is pictured behind him.
Former Illinois Gov. James Thompson speaks at the public memorial for late Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 in Countryside, Ill. Topinka died Dec. 10, 2014, after suffering complications from a stroke. She had won a second full term in November.
Former Illinois Gov. James Thompson speaks at the public memorial for late Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 in Countryside, Ill. Topinka died Dec. 10, 2014, after suffering complications from a stroke. She had won a second full term in November.
In this Nov. 10, 2004 file photo, attorney and former Gov. James Thompson is surrounded by reporters at the Illinois Supreme Court in Springfield, Ill.   Thompson, known as "Big Jim" during a long career that eventually made him the state's longest-serving chief executive, has died. He was 84. Thompson died Friday, Aug. 14, 2020 at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, his wife, Jayne, told the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.
In this Nov. 10, 2004 file photo, attorney and former Gov. James Thompson is surrounded by reporters at the Illinois Supreme Court in Springfield, Ill. Thompson, known as "Big Jim" during a long career that eventually made him the state's longest-serving chief executive, has died. He was 84. Thompson died Friday, Aug. 14, 2020 at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, his wife, Jayne, told the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.
Daily Herald file photo March 1988Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush and Ill. Gov. Jim Thompson in Des Plaines March 15, 1988.
Daily Herald file photo March 1988Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush and Ill. Gov. Jim Thompson in Des Plaines March 15, 1988.
Illinois Gov. George Ryan, right, and former Illinois Governors Jim Edgar, center foreground, and James R. Thompson, behind Ryan, carry the casket of William Grant Stratton, Tuesday, March 6, 2001, in Chicago. Stratton was Illinois governor from 1953 to 1961. Others are unidentified.
Illinois Gov. George Ryan, right, and former Illinois Governors Jim Edgar, center foreground, and James R. Thompson, behind Ryan, carry the casket of William Grant Stratton, Tuesday, March 6, 2001, in Chicago. Stratton was Illinois governor from 1953 to 1961. Others are unidentified.
Daily Herald file photo by John StarksFormer Republican Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson takes part in a joint Illinois and New Jersey caucus on the third day of the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City. Beside him is former New Jersey Governor and current EPA administrator Christie Todd Whitman.
Daily Herald file photo by John StarksFormer Republican Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson takes part in a joint Illinois and New Jersey caucus on the third day of the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City. Beside him is former New Jersey Governor and current EPA administrator Christie Todd Whitman.
FILE -- In this Aug. 21, 2007 file photo, former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson, pauses before beginning a news conference in Chicago.   Thompson, known as "Big Jim" during a long career that eventually made him the state's longest-serving chief executive, has died. He was 84. Thompson died Friday, Aug. 14, 2020 at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, his wife, Jayne, told the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.
FILE -- In this Aug. 21, 2007 file photo, former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson, pauses before beginning a news conference in Chicago. Thompson, known as "Big Jim" during a long career that eventually made him the state's longest-serving chief executive, has died. He was 84. Thompson died Friday, Aug. 14, 2020 at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, his wife, Jayne, told the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Daily Herald Archives, Assignment 89,805, Scott Sanders photo: Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush gets some last minute advice, along with Gov. Jim Thompson, before speaking at a campaign event in Rosemont in November of 1987.
The Daily Herald Archives, Assignment 89,805, Scott Sanders photo: Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush gets some last minute advice, along with Gov. Jim Thompson, before speaking at a campaign event in Rosemont in November of 1987.
Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke is flanked by then Gov. Jim Thompson, left, and Jack Pitus, then press. of Universal Oil Products, at a 1981 news conference, his first year in office.
Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke is flanked by then Gov. Jim Thompson, left, and Jack Pitus, then press. of Universal Oil Products, at a 1981 news conference, his first year in office.
Former Gov. James Thompson, rear, listens as Lt. Gov. George Ryan speaks at a news conference in Chicago in this Sept. 18, 1986 file photo.
Former Gov. James Thompson, rear, listens as Lt. Gov. George Ryan speaks at a news conference in Chicago in this Sept. 18, 1986 file photo.
Daily Herald file photoJohn McCain shakes hands with former Gov. Jim Thompson as he appears at a rally at the Odeum Sports and Expo center in Villa Park in February, 2008.
Daily Herald file photoJohn McCain shakes hands with former Gov. Jim Thompson as he appears at a rally at the Odeum Sports and Expo center in Villa Park in February, 2008.
Daily Herald file photoRudy Giuliani with Jim Thompson visiting Mauro Sewer Construction in Des Plaines in September, 2007.
Daily Herald file photoRudy Giuliani with Jim Thompson visiting Mauro Sewer Construction in Des Plaines in September, 2007.
Daily Herald file photo by Rick WestFormer Gov. Jim Thompson speaks to the media during the Illinois delegates breakfast at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Daily Herald file photo by Rick WestFormer Gov. Jim Thompson speaks to the media during the Illinois delegates breakfast at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson, attorney for former Gov. George Ryan, talks to the media with family members watching from Ryan's front porch in Kankakee, Ill., Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, where the 78-year-old Ryan will be under home confinement following his release from prison. Ryan was released from a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., Wednesday after serving more than five years for corruption. But in a move that took many by surprise, he was allowed to travel on to his Kankakee home shortly after arriving at a halfway house in Chicago.
Former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson, attorney for former Gov. George Ryan, talks to the media with family members watching from Ryan's front porch in Kankakee, Ill., Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, where the 78-year-old Ryan will be under home confinement following his release from prison. Ryan was released from a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., Wednesday after serving more than five years for corruption. But in a move that took many by surprise, he was allowed to travel on to his Kankakee home shortly after arriving at a halfway house in Chicago.
Daily Herald file photoVice President George Bush shares a laugh with Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson during a visit to St. Andrews Golf Club in West Chicago on Aug. 27, 1987.
Daily Herald file photoVice President George Bush shares a laugh with Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson during a visit to St. Andrews Golf Club in West Chicago on Aug. 27, 1987.
Former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson, attorney for former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, speaks to the media after accompanying Ryan to a halfway house Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, in Chicago, after Ryan served more than five years in federal prison on corruption charges. The 78-year-old Ryan began serving his 6 1/2-year sentence in November 2007 in Oxford, Wis., and was released from another in Terra Haute, Ind. to enter the halfway house under a work-release program.
Former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson, attorney for former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, speaks to the media after accompanying Ryan to a halfway house Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, in Chicago, after Ryan served more than five years in federal prison on corruption charges. The 78-year-old Ryan began serving his 6 1/2-year sentence in November 2007 in Oxford, Wis., and was released from another in Terra Haute, Ind. to enter the halfway house under a work-release program.
Daily Herald file photoFrom the offices of the Winston & Strawn Law firm, former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson talks about the fate of Gov. George Ryan in 2008 concerning the Supreme Court's denial to hear Ryan's case.
Daily Herald file photoFrom the offices of the Winston & Strawn Law firm, former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson talks about the fate of Gov. George Ryan in 2008 concerning the Supreme Court's denial to hear Ryan's case.
Daily Herald file photoFrom the offices of the Winston & Strawn Law firm, former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson talks about the fate of Gov. George Ryan in 2008 concerning the Supreme Court's denial to hear Ryan's case.
Daily Herald file photoFrom the offices of the Winston & Strawn Law firm, former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson talks about the fate of Gov. George Ryan in 2008 concerning the Supreme Court's denial to hear Ryan's case.
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