William G. Stratton, Governor

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William Grant Stratton

Also Known As: "Billy the Kid"
Birthplace: Long Lake, Lake, Illinois, United States
Death: March 02, 2001 (87)
Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Joseph Stratton and Zula Van Wormer
Husband of Marian G. Hook and Shirley Breckenridge

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William G. Stratton, Governor



William Grant Stratton (February 26, 1914 – March 2, 2001), known as "Billy the Kid", was the 32nd Governor of Illinois from 1953 to 1961, succeeding Adlai Stevenson II in that office.

Born February 26, 1914 in Ingleside, Lake County, Illinois, the son of William J. Stratton, an Illinois politician, and Zula Van Wormer Stratton, he served two non-consecutive terms as an at-large Congressman from Illinois, elected in 1940 and 1946. He was elected State Treasurer in 1944 and 1950. He won the Republican nomination for Governor in 1952, then defeated Lt. Governor Sherwood Dixon to become the youngest governor in America at that time.

Stratton was re-elected Governor in 1956. In 1960 he ran for an unprecedented third consecutive term, but was defeated by Democrat Otto Kerner, Jr.

Stratton was acquitted on charges of tax evasion in 1965.[5] In 1968, he ran in the Republican primary for Governor and was defeated by Richard B. Ogilvie.

In retirement, Stratton resided in Chicago. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Illinois Civil Service Commission.

He died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago on March 2, 2001, aged 87. Among his pallbearers were his successors as Governor, James R. Thompson, Jim Edgar, and George H. Ryan.

The following are named in his honor:

William G. Stratton Lock and Dam on the Fox River near McHenry, Illinois.

William G. Stratton State Park on the Illinois River in Morris, Illinois.

The William G. Stratton Building (formerly the State Office Building) in the Illinois State Capitol complex, which houses offices of many state legislators and other state agencies and was completed during his first term as governor.

Stratton Quadrangle at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, in recognition of his position as governor at the time of the university's founding. He was also the speaker at SIUE's first commencement in 1960.

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William G. Stratton, Governor's Timeline

February 26, 1914
Long Lake, Lake, Illinois, United States
March 2, 2001
Age 87
Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States