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Jim Ryan

Monday, Jun 13, 2022

* Tribune

Former Illinois attorney general Jim Ryan had success in politics despite never really being comfortable with the glad-handing that goes with it.

He once cut to five minutes a scheduled half-hour hand-shaking stop with voters on a chilly Michigan Avenue, telling an aide, “I got 10 votes and double pneumonia.”

A stoic politician whose life was beset by personal tragedies, Ryan rose from DuPage County state’s attorney to serve two terms as Illinois attorney general, but was twice defeated bids for governor.

Ryan 76, died at his home Sunday “after several lengthy illnesses,” according to a statement from Dan Curry, a family spokesman.

Jim was a good man who had to endure numerous health challenges. May he rest in peace.

* ILGOP…

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Don Tracy has released the following statement in response to the passing of former Illinois Attorney General and 2002 Illinois Republican gubernatorial nominee, Jim Ryan.

“Jim Ryan embodied what it meant to be a statesman. He always put the people of Illinois before politics and faithfully served this great state with honor and integrity as our Attorney General. Jim overcame great personal tragedies and health difficulties to live an impactful public life as well as being a great husband, father, and grandfather. I pray comfort and healing will come to Jim’s family in this difficult time. May we remember his contributions to Illinois and his legacy of selfless service.”

* AG Raoul…

Attorney General Kwame Raoul today issued the following statement regarding the passing of former Illinois Attorney General James E. “Jim” Ryan.

“Jim Ryan dedicated much of his career to public safety, first as DuPage County state’s attorney and then as Illinois Attorney General, and I strive to follow his example. Jim’s leadership as Attorney General and commitment to protecting all residents of Illinois is something that I have done my best to mirror since taking office.

“After being elected Attorney General, I had the opportunity to meet with Jim. I continue to be grateful for his graciousness and advice as I prepared to enter the office he once led with such integrity. His counsel has continued to guide how I, as Attorney General, have governed the office and expanded my focus on enhancing public safety.

“Jim Ryan will forever be known for his strength and dedication to service on behalf of the people of Illinois, even as he faced unimaginable personal tragedy. May his courage and selflessness in the face of adversity serve as inspiration to all. I extend my deepest condolences to Jim’s beloved wife Marie and their children, and those fortunate enough to call him a friend.”

…Adding… Gov. Pritzker…


…Adding… LG Stratton…


…Adding… Comptroller Mendoza…


- Posted by Rich Miller        

19 Comments »
  1. - Sue - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 10:01 am:

    A quiet humble statesman. RIP. Jim dying does forever remove the possibility that we will find out how Ed Vrdolyak managed his giant fee from the Illinois tobacco litigation. It still boggles the mind that the current AG hasn’t sought to recover the money. Absent a written fee agreement signed by someone in an official state capacity- how is it Illinois has continued to ignore whatever happened?


  2. - former cubs fan - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 10:09 am:

    while nobody wants to hear from blago anymore, considering the fact that he has become active on twitter, he should make a public statement honoring jim ryan. Jim Ryan was a decent man, and the two ran a spirited campaign against each other for governor. the honorable thing for blago to do would be to acknowledge Jim Ryan as the decent man and committed public servant that he was.


  3. - Give Me A Break - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 10:14 am:

    An outstanding man and public servant. He had to endure family and personal issues that no human should ever have to face.

    Worked with him on several issues related to disability rights. A dedicated public official that cared about more than the next election. May he RIP.


  4. - Stones - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 10:19 am:

    You couldn’t help but feel for the guy with all the personal tragedy in his life. Condolences to his family and friends.


  5. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 10:19 am:

    A good, quiet leader who had to persevere through so much loss and tragedy. Not a natural campaigner or perhaps showy and visionary enough for the highest levels of statewide politics, to our loss. My condolences to his family and close friends.


  6. - B Team - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 11:28 am:

    My heart goes out to the Ryan family. Jim was a class act and someone I actually admired in politics, which is hard to find these days.


  7. - Belden Ave. - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 11:29 am:

    To former cub fan:

    As someone who was once close to General Ryan, Blago would be better off with no comment.
    George Ryan as well


  8. - Nick Name - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 11:37 am:

    Rest in peace.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 11:37 am:

    The Honorable Jim Ryan.

    What is so great about the community Rich Miller built here, this blog, it’s posts, the comments and commenters, I was able to revisit so many things about Jim Ryan.

    Ryan the AG, Ryan the candidate *for* AG, Ryan the incumbent, Ryan the Gubernatorial candidate, Ryan the Gubernatorial Nominee… Ryan “after politics”.

    What I found?

    Ryan, a person of integrity, inner strength, a strong family with terrible tragedies put upon them too.

    Ryan the conservative, Ryan the Republican who embodied so much of the struggles to be a Republican, all the while trying to be embraced by the electorate of primaries and general elections.

    As Edgar might not find a home in this GOP constructed, Ryan might not find that home either.

    Take the time. Search Jim Ryan. Read the posts, the comments, the integrity and the real-ness of Jim Ryan was always seen, that is a credit to him.

    My sincere condolences to his family and many, so many, friends.


  10. - sal-says - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 12:28 pm:

    == Jim Ryan will long be remembered as a selfless, dedicated public servant who worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of Illinois. ==

    More pols like him, please.


  11. - Yiddishcowboy - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 12:59 pm:

    A top-drawer individual and office holder. Tough as nails. I liked this man and respected him even more. Many current Republicans could learn a thing or two…or more…from him on many levels.

    May his memory endure as a blessing for us all. My heart-felt condolences to his family and friends.


  12. - JS Mill - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 1:11 pm:

    =A good, quiet leader who had to persevere through so much loss and tragedy. Not a natural campaigner or perhaps showy and visionary enough for the highest levels of statewide politics, to our loss. My condolences to his family and close friends.=

    Perfectly stated. Jim Ryan was from the ILGOP that i remember positively and voted for often.


  13. - Levois J - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 1:39 pm:

    I like that the praise for him is bi-partisan. Republicans praise him for his service and so are Democrats. More of this please.

    And condolences to his family.


  14. - anon2 - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 2:41 pm:

    I have a lot of respect for General Ryan. Like many of us, he changed his mind on the death penalty, although he didn’t come out against it until after he had retired from politics. Still, his position was significant for a former Republican state’s attorney and AG.


  15. - Anon - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 4:43 pm:

    I am sure that Jim Ryan was a great person. Nevertheless his futile entry in the 2010 governor’s race (fourth place in the primary) effectively made Brady’s nomination possible. He split the moderate vote and thus eliminated Dillard who would have been a strong challenger against Quinn.


  16. - Proud Papa Bear - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 6:12 pm:

    I remember thinking at the time he likely would’ve won the gubernatorial election if he had any other name besides Ryan, as George had his scandal and I’m sure people conflated the two.
    Principled man.


  17. - Flexible One - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 7:36 pm:

    As a longtime personal friend of Jim I can confidently say he’s the real deal. Humble, honest, thoughtful, a man of service and committed to making a positive difference in the world. May he rest in love and peace.


  18. - MisterJayEm - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 8:59 pm:

    Rolando Cruz was unavailable for comment.

    – MrJM


  19. - proudstatetrooper - Monday, Jun 13, 22 @ 9:10 pm:

    stolen from a RYAN staffer in communications. I know she wont mind;

    It was a privilege and an honor to work for you Jim Ryan and nothing short of a gift from God to call you friend. Your leadership, love and life has left an indelible mark on my heart.
    Thank you and those words will never never never be enough.
    I remember my dad told me “He is one of the Greats. Learn everything you can from him Lori because men like Jim Ryan are few and far between.” How right you were Daddy. How can you both be gone in less than a month’s time?
    What all the news stories have missed about former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan is what I consider to be one of his most defining qualities- his Faith. It was deeper and stronger than anyone I have known.
    A faith so strong that it held fast through his battle with cancer and devastating loss of his daughter Annie and later son Patrick. And though grieving himself, the General (as we all lovingly called him), was always always worrying about the other guy, the guy that needed Gods help more than he did. That included being there for me and my mom at our darkest hour.
    On the eve of an election after I told him that I was praying for him… I can still hear him telling me..,“Don’t pray for me Lori. Pray God’s Will. Always Pray Gods Will.”
    Jim Ryan was Not a politician- he was a Statesman. He went into public service to do just that…Serve the public and he did it with Great Honor and Integrity.
    There is no one who taught me more about the meaning of the word Integrity in every decision he made. He lived his word and he walked his faith and I was honored and blessed to have worked as his spokesperson for eight years.
    The General made it so easy to do my job because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that his only intention was to follow the law and do the right thing.
    In government, as in any high profile position, the true measure of a man can be seen when the cameras are off and the reporters are long gone. How do they treat their team or the waitress in the diner serving reheated hours-old coffee, or the state police officer who is tirelessly escorting your team and missing their own family event to do so.
    I can tell you that Jim Ryan treated everyone with kindness, consideration and respect.
    I literally never had to wonder what the General would do- not once. I knew he would do the right thing, the kind, compassionate thing, the thing that would make me proud to work for him. And not just proud to work for him- proud to Know him and his family.
    I will be forever in his debt for sharing his incredible family with me. I wish everyone I know could know this family. The Ryan’s, the Koch’s, the Noldans and all the branches that stretch beyond. There is So much LOVE there. And with Jim and Marie at the roots You could not help but want to be a part of it - to emulate it in your own family.
    The love Jim felt for Marie - his wife and high school sweetheart, his kids , his grandchildren and his sisters and their families -was truly palpable. Palpable and Inspiring.
    Attorney General Jim Ryan was the strongest, most honorable man I have ever known. I doubt I will meet another like him in my lifetime.
    The gift of his friendship is commensurate with the loss I feel - it is simply Immeasurable.
    And since I just cannot say goodbye, I’ll say so long for now and I will
    try to take some comfort knowing that I will see you at every movie and every parade until we meet again General.
    God Bless You and Yours General. Give Ri and Annie and Pat a good ol Italian sized squeeze for us.


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