George Ryan

George Ryan
2007 Governor George Ryan crop4.JPG
39th Governor of Illinois
In office
January 11, 1999 – January 13, 2003
LieutenantCorinne Wood
Preceded byJim Edgar
Succeeded byRod Blagojevich
36th Secretary of State of Illinois
In office
January 14, 1991 – January 11, 1999
GovernorJim Edgar
Preceded byJim Edgar
Succeeded byJesse White
42nd Lieutenant Governor of Illinois
In office
January 10, 1983 – January 14, 1991
GovernorJames R. Thompson
Preceded byDave O'Neal
Succeeded byBob Kustra
65th Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives
In office
January 14, 1981 – January 10, 1983
GovernorJames R. Thompson
Preceded byWilliam A. Redmond
Succeeded byArthur A. Telcser
Personal details
Born
George Homer Ryan

(1934-02-24) February 24, 1934 (age 84)[1]
Maquoketa, Iowa, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Lura Lynn Lowe (June 10, 1956 – June 28, 2011; her death)
Children6
ResidenceKankakee, Illinois
Alma materFerris State College
ProfessionPharmacist
businessman
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1954–1956
[2][3][4][5]

George Homer Ryan Sr. (born February 24, 1934)[6] is an American former politician who was the 39th Governor of the U.S. state of Illinois from 1999 until 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party. Ryan received national attention for his 1999 moratorium on executions in Illinois and for commuting more than 160 death sentences to life sentences in 2003. He was later convicted of federal corruption charges and spent more than five years in federal prison and seven months of home confinement. He was released from federal prison on July 3, 2013. Many observers have noted in recent years that Ryan was one of the primary politicians responsible for creating the current pension crisis in Illinois, which is the state with the most underfunded pension system in the United States.[7]

Early life

Ryan was born in Maquoketa, Iowa, the son of Jeannette (Bowman) and Thomas Ryan, a pharmacist.[8][9] Ryan grew up in Kankakee County, Illinois. After serving in the U.S. Army in Korea, he worked for his father's two drugstores.[10] He attended Ferris State College of Pharmacy (now Ferris State University) in Big Rapids, Michigan. Eventually, he built his father's pair of pharmacies into a successful family-run chain (profiting from lucrative government-contract business selling prescription drugs to nursing homes) which he sold in 1990.[10][11]

Ryan was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1954. He served a 13-month tour in Korea, working in a base pharmacy.[12]

On June 10, 1956, Ryan married his high school sweetheart, Lura Lynn Lowe (July 5, 1934 – June 27, 2011) whom he had met in a high school English class. She grew up in Aroma Park, where her family (originally from Germany) had lived since 1834. Her father owned one of the first hybrid seed companies in the United States.[13] The couple had five daughters (including a set of triplets);[11] Julie, Joanne, Jeanette, Lynda and Nancy;[14][15] and one son, George Homer Ryan, Jr.[16][17][18][19]

Lura Lowe died of lung cancer at Riverside Hospital in Kankakee on June 27, 2011. Ryan's brother, Tom, was a prominent political figure in Kankakee County.[10] In addition, Ryan's sister Kathleen Dean's former son-in-law, Bruce Clark, is the Kankakee County, Illinois Clerk.[20]

Other Languages
Deutsch: George Ryan
italiano: George Ryan
русский: Райан, Джордж
Simple English: George Ryan
svenska: George Ryan
українська: Джордж Раян