Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the U.S. House from 1999 to 2007, began his political career in the Illinois state legislature in 1981. Hastert began his adult life as a teacher at Yorkville high school, and gaining notoriety not by paying his dues in local politics, but due to his very successful stint as a high school wrestling coach. In 1980 he was the surprise victor in an election for the Illinois House. Once in Springfield, he quickly earned the reputation as a legislator who could get things done. This interview concludes with Hastert' discussing his 1986 campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives. The interview is part of a joint venture with the U.S. House of Representatives historians.
Speaker Hastert was sentenced to fifteen months in federal prison in April, 2016 for incidents of child molestation that occurred in the 1970s while Hastert was a high school wrestling coach at Yorkville, Illinois.