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John B. Anderson passes away

Monday, Dec 4, 2017

* Your thoughts on his life?…


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* Press release…

Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) released the below statement after learning about the passing of Rockford native John B. Anderson, the former Congressman of the 16th Congressional District of Illinois:

“John Anderson dedicated his life to serving the Rockford community and this great nation – and he served us well.

“Before representing IL-16 in the House of Representatives, John Anderson answered the call to serve as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army. He served through the end of World War II and was honored with four battle stars for his valor in combat. Upon returning home to Rockford, Anderson finished his law degree at the University of Illinois. He later became Winnebago County State’s Attorney, and then ran for Congress in 1960.

“His servant leadership and love of country led him to serve as Conference Chairman in House Leadership and eventually to run for President. He believed that his job was worth giving up in order to set a better example of realism in politics. We are better for his candor, his focus, and his honesty – and his pragmatic approach and self-awareness continues to inspire me on a daily basis.

“My thoughts and prayers are with John’s wife and the entire Anderson family. We mourn as a community, and as a nation, on the passing of this great American – The Honorable John B. Anderson.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

27 Comments
  1. - Lt Guv - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 12:20 pm:

    He was my 1st vote. A good man, but in retrospect, I should have voted for Carter.


  2. - G'Kar - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    The first candidate I actively worked for almost 40 years ago. RIP.


  3. - JoanP - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 12:32 pm:

    A good guy. Thoughtful, willing to be convinced. Not ideologically rigid. it would be nice if some of the “true believers” now inhabiting Washington and Springfield would take a page out of his book.


  4. - NIU Grad - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 12:33 pm:

    I was just hearing stories about how Reagan’s strong debate performance with him was enough to create consensus that he was a credible challenger, leading to Carter’s acceptance of a debate (the latest in campaign history, if I recall correctly).


  5. - Anon221 - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 12:43 pm:

    I remember following his campaign and his debate with Reagan. He was a great man, and helped set the stage for others to challenge the two party system-

    http://www.noholdingbackbook.com/about-john-anderson/


  6. - RNUG - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 12:51 pm:

    Remember voting for him in his Presidential run.


  7. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 1:00 pm:

    He was a hero in our house.

    Shortly before I was born, my old man got in some fisticuffs with some gomer at a Rockford factory who was riding him about his accent.

    The old man was arrested and fired. He got another job, the charges were dropped, but because of the arrest he was having a hard time getting his green card renewed. With a non-citizen wife and five anchor babies at home.

    The union hooked him up with Rep. Anderson, who stepped up and worked it to a successful resolution, allowing my parents to continue their roles in building this country and the American Dream for their children and generations to come.

    All politics may be local, but all politics without a doubt is personal.


  8. - Keyrock - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 1:05 pm:

    I voted for him in 1980, too. (I also feel, in retrospect, that it was a mistake.)
    A fine man and a fine public servant.


  9. - Dan Johnson - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 1:05 pm:

    He was a political hero and a friend of mine.

    He was most proud of his deciding vote in the House Rules Committee to pass the Open Housing Act of 1968.

    I think he is one of Illinois’ finest political sons.


  10. - Give Me A Break - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 1:13 pm:

    Cut my teeth during his run. Good man.


  11. - A guy - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    He was definitely an interesting guy and had a lot of ardent supporters. There were some in the GOP who believed when this day came, he might have to hire pall bearers. Indeed, he has plenty of people who honor his service.


  12. - Northsider - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 1:22 pm:

    G’Kar @ 12:29, me, too. (Does that make me Ta’Lon?)

    A 12-year-old me rode the L that summer to work in his downtown HQ and got out of middle school early to meet him at the then-Northwestern Station for an afternoon commuter meet-n-greet. I still have the lapel pin I got that day from the staffer who organized that.

    If Andersons were still the backbone of the Republican party, I might consider voting for them every once in a while. Oh well.


  13. - VanillaMan - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 1:28 pm:

    “1980 happened before you kids wee born, and there was a lot going on. The hits of Supertramp, the dark horse presidential candidacy of John Anderson; it was an exciting time to be young.”

    - Homer Simpson, I Married Marge, Seaon 3


  14. - Amalia - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    did not vote for him but did meet him and think he was a good man and a good public official.


  15. - @MisterJayEm - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 1:47 pm:

    I was just a kid when he ran for president, so I never knew much about him — but for years his bespectacled, snow-capped image popped into my mind whenever the radio played “Chicken Truck”.

    And that’s no joke.

    – MrJM


  16. - Groundhog Day - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 1:48 pm:

    I was living in Nebraska during that election, and voted for him since the electoral college votes of NE were certainly going for Reagan. I wanted to help him get the % of votes needed for a match of campaign funds.


  17. - Commonsense in Illinois - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 1:56 pm:

    During the 1980 cycle, I was working for Dave O’Neal, the Republican candidate running against former Sen. Alan Dixon. We share a building on Dearborn St. in Chicago with the campaigns of Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy and John Anderson.

    There were a handful of staff in the building one Saturday morning (I think in February) when members of the FALN took over the Carter offices for a time. No body was hurt, but it does shake you up when you come around a corner and there’s a Chicago PD SWAT officer pointing an assault weapon at you…


  18. - Boone's is Back - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 2:11 pm:

    Sad news- I never met him but he seemed like a truly decent man.


  19. - West Wing - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 2:13 pm:

    He gave some excellent speeches in 1980, although my support went to Ted Kennedy


  20. - kitty - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 2:35 pm:

    I didn’t vote for him, but considered doing so. He was a great American and earned my respect for his service in Europe in WWII.


  21. - Ken_in_Aurora - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 2:43 pm:

    Wow. I voted for him in my first Presidential election at age 18, but what I’ll remember most about Representative Anderson is the time I probably ruined his suit pants.

    A few years after he was out of office, I was a starving young long haired PJ stringing for one of the suburban biweeklies. Rep. Anderson was in town to speak to a suburban business group, and I was assigned to shoot the event. Afterwards, I was outside the venue packing my trunk when I noticed he was standing at the restaurant’s door checking his watch and looking very nervous. He had arranged for a cab to O’Hare to catch a flight out, and they were a no show. I was between assignments so I offered to drive him to the airport.

    I don’t remember much about the ride other than he was a polite, convivial and well-spoken man. Also, that the passenger seat of my old surplus ISP Grand Fury was so dirty that when he got out at O’Hare the seat of his pants was pretty grimy. I sure hope those stains came out.

    Rest in peace, Representative Anderson. We could use another one like you right about now.


  22. - The Old Professor - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 3:12 pm:

    I voted in the Republican primary for the only time of my life to vote for John Anderson over Ronald Reagan. I had recently moved to Illinois from California and knew how bad Ronnie had been for the state. He was an amazingly decent human being.


  23. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 4:38 pm:

    What a Republican should be. Proud to have voted for him


  24. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 5:56 pm:

    Heard him speak at a Lincoln Day event in maybe, Peoria ca.1978. Still have his autograph and a short note in my box o’ political stuff.


  25. - Stones - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 6:29 pm:

    Voted for him in 1980. Gave a speech at college for him.


  26. - Anonymous - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 7:32 pm:

    Voted for him as the best choice in the presidential election. Still have my Anderson/Lucey t-shirt.


  27. - regnaD kciN - Monday, Dec 4, 17 @ 9:46 pm:

    I met him when I was a page in D.C. and later on voted for him in 1980 (and I don’t consider it a bad or wasted vote). He was a quality person and I wish we had more like him.


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