Welcome to the Governor James R. Thompson Oral History Project. Governor Thompson is Illinois’s longest serving 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. And once out of office, Thompson remained very active for the next three decades, serving as chairman for a major Chicago based law firm, working on President George W. Bush’s 9-11 Commission, and much more. Whatever your interest in Illinois politics from the 1960s through the mid-2010s, you’ll find it addressed in this project.