Welcome to the Governor James R. Thompson Oral History Project. Governor Thompson is the longest serving Illinois governor. First elected in 1976 by an overwhelming majority, he weathered four elections and served for a total of fourteen years, finally stepping down in January, 1991. He led the state through a myriad of changes during a dramatic period of American history. Through it all, he remained popular with the Illinois public, a larger than life personality to match his six foot six frame. The oral history project was begun in late 2013, and will continue through 2015. We will be adding interviews as we go, to include an in-depth interview with the governor himself once that interview is completed.