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*** UPDATED x3 *** Family says former Gov. Dan Walker has passed away

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2015

* From Facebook

*** UPDATE 1 *** Bernie

Former Gov. Dan Walker, who served in the state’s top job for a single term from 1973 to 1977, died early Wednesday at a veterans hospital in Chula Vista, Calif., according to his son, Will. He was 92.

Will Walker, of Crystal Lake, said old age caught up to his father.

“Ultimately, it was heart failure that got him,” the younger Walker, of Crystal Lake, told The State Journal-Register.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Gov. Rauner…

“Diana and I are saddened to learn of the passing of former Governor Dan Walker. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”

*** UPDATE 3 *** Pat Quinn…

Gov. Pat Quinn has issued the below statement on the passing of Gov. Dan Walker:

“As a member of the United States Navy, Gov. Dan Walker served our country with courage and distinction in World War II and the Korean War.

“He fervently believed in the power of democracy and the importance of including everyone in our democracy. He loved his family and leaves behind many friends. His patriotism, service and compassion will never be forgotten.

“May God rest his soul.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

42 Comments
  1. - Downstate - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:31 am:

    First governor I ever met. During his walk across Illinois, he stopped in our small downstate school, when I was in 2nd grade.

    I’m a lifelong Republican, but have always had a warm spot in my heart for Governor Walker.


  2. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:39 am:

    A full and colorful life, indeed. He had a candidate’s dream background going into that governor’s primary, but the dude could not work with en-e-bah-dee in office.

    After his defeat, it was his misfortune to live at a time when there was a possibility that bankers could be prosecuted for fraud.

    The money involved in his fraud wouldn’t cover Jamie Dimon’s drycleaning bills. Today, Walker would probably get a bailout and a bonus.


  3. - 35th/Shields - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:46 am:

    So very true Wordslinger


  4. - Amalia - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:52 am:

    Peace to his family and friends. So many were inspired by his campaign, walking across Illinois inspired some I know to get into politics.


  5. - walker - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 9:54 am:

    Not afraid to make powerful enemies, to his credit. Wasn’t it his report that labeled the uproar surrounding the Dem Convention in ‘68 a “Police Riot?”

    Not afraid.

    Never thought much of his conviction, and I was working in regulatory compliance in banking at the time.

    RIP


  6. - Deep South - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:00 am:

    Walkin’ Dan Walker…may he rest in peace. One of my early political heroes.


  7. - Brookport Brandon - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:13 am:

    He stayed with my neighbors on his walk. His portrait remains in their home today.


  8. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:14 am:

    I was told that Walker was planning an autobiography. I wonder if he ever got the manuscript finished or even started on it.

    Pat Quinn began his career under Walker.


  9. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:15 am:

    He was the most charismatic person I ever met. I’ll say nothing more


  10. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:32 am:

    UFR, he wrote “The Maverick and the Machine,” a combination of self-criticism and score-settling, but well worth a read.


  11. - Juice - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:34 am:

    UFR, his autobiography was published in 2007 or so. So much promise from his administration, but too bad he just couldn’t and wouldn’t even make an attempt to build the relationships necessary to get the agenda through. RIP Guv.


  12. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:35 am:

    I wonder if he had another book project?

    I will have to check out the autobiography.


  13. - Vote Quimby! - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:35 am:

    Sad news and thoughts to his family and friends.

    How would Illinois be different if Walker had not upset Paul Simon in the 1972 Dem primary?


  14. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:47 am:

    Upon Further Review -

    As did John Filan.


  15. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:47 am:

    Sad news, to his credit Governor Dan put the good of ordinary people first, even when it cost him with the Democratic Party leaders.

    The story of his first campaign is one of true grassroots organizing, in the era of big money it’s something we won’t see again.

    RIP, Governor, and condolences to the family.


  16. - Stones - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:02 am:

    Dan Walker was the first person I ever met who became Governor. His walk across the state was legendary. Condolences to all of his family and friends.


  17. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:11 am:

    Because of his charm and campaign ability, Illinois went from a courageous, competent Governor Ogilvie to - Dan Walker.

    We fixed that four years later.


  18. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:19 am:

    Vanilla Man -
    Unfortunately Walker’s successor(s) kept his attitude about properly funding employee pensions.


  19. - Anonin' - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:19 am:

    Kinda ironic Dan Walker like Blagoof and BVR were always about the razzle dazzle and portraying themselves in ways they are not. Sorry but speakin’ the truth


  20. - A guy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    Peace to him and his family. No commentary beyond that.


  21. - Very Fed Up - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:41 am:

    Rest in peace


  22. - John A Logan - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:50 am:

    Good to see a comment from Pat Quinn. We would have been better off with him.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    My sincere condolences to the Dan Walker family.


  24. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:05 pm:

    According to the Tribune bio, Walker was released from jail early because his lawyer convinced the state that Walker was in failing health - 26 years ago.

    It was because of Walker that I was, as a kid, forever skeptical over Jimmy Carter. Carter campaigned like Walker did, and after watching Walker’s administration, expected something similar with Carter.

    Bruce Rauner should read up on Dan Walker because it seems that those two have an awful lot in common - sadly for us.


  25. - Blago's Hare - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:08 pm:

    What were some of the towns/cities on his walk? I see Rosebud in the photo, but can’t seem to locate any others. This was a little before my time and I’m trying to put it in perspective. Thanks.


  26. - Mouthy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:10 pm:

    First campaign I ever worked in. He had a campaign office in the Town & Country shopping center. I still have the invitation to the inaugural ball as I never went…


  27. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:10 pm:

    VMan, how old were you during the Walker administration when you were forming these conclusions?

    Given your many past statements on age, I would have assumed you hadn’t been born yet.


  28. - Nick Danger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:22 pm:

    First Democrat my mother (god rest her soul) ever voted for….and the last. Condolences to his family.


  29. - Levois - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:39 pm:

    He was ahead of my time and it’s very cool that so many remember him today. I may not have a positive view of his legacy unfortunately. But there are many who do.


  30. - Amalia - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:50 pm:

    nice, complete statement from PQ.


  31. - GV - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:21 pm:

    Blago’s Hare,
    I know he stayed the night in Niantic, Illinois for one night during the walk. I was the Democrat precinct committee man for Niantic and Mrs. Patterson would always make sure to tell me that he had stayed at her house during his walk. This was over 30 years after the walk.


  32. - Norseman - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:22 pm:

    I was a H.S. student making phone calls for Nixon when Walker walked into the headquarters to shake hands. Yes he was an interesting campaigner.


  33. - walker - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 1:42 pm:

    Typical of Quinn to first appreciate Walker’s fighting for his country.


  34. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:14 pm:

    I recall a story -presumably true - that early in his administration he had a poker game with big wheel pols. He sat down and plopped a .45 cal on the table. If true, quite an introduction


  35. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 2:19 pm:

    UFR, the wiki says that Walker was working on a history of the relationship between organized crime and government in Illinois.

    That’s a book somebody should write. Ed Burke likes to write books, and if anyone knows where all the bodies are buried, so to speak, it’s him.

    There are a number of good Outfit books, but none that deal primarily with Illinois govenment.

    “The Outift” and “Supermob” by Gus Russo both touch on the interactions among the Outfit, Illinois government and “legitimate” business.


  36. - Emily Booth - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 3:09 pm:

    Dan Walker came to ISU w/ Warren Beatty! Take that Blago & BVR! RIP


  37. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 3:19 pm:

    Holy Cow, Norseman! The same thing happened to me!


  38. - Norseman - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 3:37 pm:

    AA, what a coincidence. It would freak me out if you were in the Aurora HQ.


  39. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 3:50 pm:

    AA, Norse, you Nixon boys got me to wondering.

    In ‘72, Nixon won Illinois with 59 percent. Walker won in a squeaker, 51-49.

    In ‘68, it was Nixon 47, Humphrey 44, Wallace 8. Ogilvie beat Shapiro 51-48.

    Obviously, James D. Nowlan for l.g. is to blame for Ogilvie’s loss in ‘72, lol.


  40. - A guy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 4:13 pm:

    OK, one commentary: Abercrombie and Fitch should send a huge floral spray for his memorial/visitation. His walk across Illinois highlighted their boots.


  41. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 8:46 pm:

    I was in Champaign, Norseman. A couple College Republicans who had graduated and were hanging around campus were running the room. Names were Rove and Kjellander-ever hear of them?


  42. - RNUG - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:02 pm:

    Definitely one of the many colorful characters in Illinois politics to have held office. He made his mark on Illinois.

    Unfortunately, for myself and many other retirees, that mark was IFT v Lindberg which pretty directly lead to our current pension mess.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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