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  • Gov. Adlai Ewing Stevenson, Jr. (1900 - 1965)
    Gov. Aldlai E. Stevenson, II was the grandson of Vice President Aldlai Ewing Stevenson and the son of Illinois Secretary of State Lewis G. Stevenson. Adlai II was born Feb. 5, 1900 in Los Angeles, Ca...
  • Ninian Edwards, Gov'r, Terr. Gov'r, US Senator (1775 - 1833)
    Ninian Edwards (March 17, 1775 – July 20, 1833) was a founding political figure of the state of Illinois. He served as the first and only governor of the Illinois Territory from 1809 to 1818, as one ...
  • Edward Coles (1786 - 1868)
    Second Governor of Illinois Edward Coles (December 15, 1786 – July 7, 1868) manumitted his slaves in 1819, was secretary to James Madison (1810 to 1815), neighbor and anti-slavery associate of Th...
  • J.B. Pritzker
    Jay Robert (J.B.) Pritzker (born January 19, 1965) is a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and private business owner in the United States. He is managing partner and co-founder of Prit...
  • Richard James Oglesby, Maj. Gen. (USA), Gov., "Uncle Dick" (1824 - 1899)
    Richard James Oglesby (July 25, 1824 – April 24, 1899) was a U.S. soldier and political figure. He served in the Mexican-American War and was a major general in the Union Army during the American Civ...

The Governor of Illinois is the head of the executive branch of Illinois's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Illinois Legislature, to convene the legislature, and to grant pardons.

Governor of the Territory of Illinois

Illinois Territory was formed on March 1, 1809, from Indiana Territory. It had only one governor appointed by the President of the United States before it became a state. From March to June, 1809, Territorial Secretary Nathaniel Pope served as acting governor; Edwards' arrival in Illinois ended Pope's brief administration.

List of Governors of Illinois

Governors of the State of Illinois

Illinois was admitted to the Union on December 3, 1818, consisting of the southern portion of Illinois Territory; the remainder was assigned to Michigan Territory.

The first Illinois Constitution, ratified in 1818, provided that a governor be elected every four years for a term starting on the first Monday in the December following an election. The constitution of 1848 moved the start of the term to the second Monday in January. Governors were not allowed to succeed themselves until the 1870 constitution, which removed this limit.

The office of lieutenant governor was created in the first constitution, to exercise the power of governor if that office becomes vacant. The 1848 constitution changed this to say the power "devolves" upon the lieutenant governor in case of a vacancy. The current constitution of 1970 made it so that, in the event of a vacancy, the lieutenant becomes governor, and the governor and lieutenant governor are now elected on the same ticket.