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Governor Dan Walker Project Interviews

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Governor Dan Walker Project Interviews

William 'Bill' Barnhart - Governor Dan Walker Project

Bill Barnhart spent the bulk of his life as a journalist, first with the Chicago based 'City News Bureau,' then with the 'Suburban Tribune,' during the administration of Dan Walker from 1973 to 1976. For the last two years of the Walker administration, Barnhart worked as the paper's statehouse reporter in Springfield. Following that assignment, Barnhart went on to work as a business reporter and columnist, most of that with the Chicago 'Tribune.' See his complete interview at the 'Illinois Statecraft - Journalists' View' web page.

Nancy deGrazia - Governor Dan Walker Project

Nancy deGrazia served as an Assistant to Governor Dan Walker from 1973 to 1977, working as his liaison for several financial and regulatory agencies. Following Walker's defeat in 1977, Nancy married Victor deGrazia, Dan Walker's long-time political advisor.

William Goldberg - Governor Dan Walker Project

William Goldberg began his legal career in 1962 in the same law firm as Dan Walker. He advised Walker on his report on violence at the Democratic Convention of 1968, worked on Walker's 1972 gubernatorial campaign, and then served as Counsel to the Governor from 1973 to 1977, becoming one of Walker's most trusted advisors.

Mort Kaplan - Governor Dan Walker Project

Mort Kaplan of Chicago, Illinois has spent his life working in the public relations field. In the 1960s he met Dan Walker, and became a close friend and a key public relations advisor during Walker's run for governor. Although Kaplan never officially served in the Walker administration, he continued to advise Walker on his political career.

Ben Kiningham - Governor Dan Walker Project

As a reporter for various radio stations and a statewide radio network for forty years, Ben Kiningham's beat was the Illinois Statehouse in Springfield. He covered gubernatorial administrations from Dan Walker to George Ryan, as well as the Illinois legislature and various state agencies.

Mary Lee Leahy - Governor Dan Walker Project

Springfield attorney Mary Lee Leahy has spent her life in the public eye, helping to successfully litigate the

Taylor Pensoneau - Governor Dan Walker Project

Taylor Pensoneau covered the Illinois Statehouse beat for the St. Louis Post Dispatch from Oct.1965-Jan.1978, reporting on the Richard Ogilvie, Dan Walker, and Jim Thompson gubernatorial administrations. Following this, he worked for several years as a lobbyist at the Illinois Coal Association, and while there began a third career, writing books on Illinois' political and criminal history. Pensoneau reflects on Barack Obama’s time in Illinois from journalist’s perspective.

Dan Walker - Governor Dan Walker Project

Dan Walker began his career as a Naval Academy graduate before moving to Chicago to pursue a law career. He soon entered politics, learning about the tactics of Chicago's political machine first-hand before deciding to take on the machine. He won a surprising victory for governor in 1972, but served only one tumultuous term. Walker encountered legal problems in the early 1980s, and spent 18 months in prison.

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