Governors of Illinois

History of Illinois Governors

Illinois is home to the Windy City, a nickname given to countless politicians' changing political sentiment and empty promises in the city and state. It makes sense, given this nickname, to see the constantly changing and evolving political arena in the state of Illinois. The first governor in Illinois was Shadrach Bond, who served from 1818 until 1822 as part of the Independent Party. Illinois has also elected governors representing the Whig Party, Adams-Clay Republican Party, and the National Republican Party, in addition to standard Democratic and Republican Party officials.

There is no consistency when it comes to a ruling party in this state, and the represented political party seems to flip every few years. Between 1838 and 2019, there have been 39 different governors. Of these 39 elected officials, 15 have been Democratic, and the remaining 24 have been Republican, indicating a tilted but rather even split between the two parties.

Current Illinois Governor

The current governor of Illinois is J. B. Pritzker, who was elected in 2019. J. B. Pritzker is a representative of the Democratic Party. Although now a full-time politician, Pritzker is a member of the Pritzker family who owns the Hyatt Hotel Corporation. To take office, J. B. Pritzker defeated the Republican incumbent governor.

Name Term Start Term End Party
Shadrach BondOct 6, 1818Dec 5, 1822Independent
Edward ColesDec 5, 1822Dec 6, 1826Independent
Ninian EdwardsDec 6, 1826Dec 6, 1830Adams-Clay Republican
John ReynoldsDec 6, 1830Nov 17, 1834National Republican
William Lee D. EwingNov 17, 1834Dec 3, 1834Democratic
Joseph DuncanDec 3, 1834Dec 7, 1838Whig
Thomas CarlinDec 7, 1838Dec 8, 1842Democratic
Thomas FordDec 8, 1842Dec 9, 1846Democratic
Augustus C. FrenchDec 9, 1846Jan 10, 1853Democratic
Joel Aldrich MattesonJan 10, 1853Jan 12, 1857Democratic
William Henry BissellJan 12, 1857Mar 18, 1860Republican
John WoodMar 18, 1860Jan 14, 1861Republican
Richard YatesJan 14, 1861Jan 16, 1865Republican
Richard J. OglesbyJan 16, 1865Jan 11, 1869Republican
John M. PalmerJan 11, 1869Jan 13, 1873Republican
Richard J. OglesbyJan 13, 1873Jan 23, 1873Republican
John Lourie BeveridgeJan 23, 1873Jan 8, 1877Republican
Shelby Moore CullomJan 8, 1877Feb 5, 1883Republican
John Marshall HamiltonFeb 5, 1883Jan 30, 1885Republican
Richard J. OglesbyJan 30, 1885Jan 14, 1889Republican
Joseph W. FiferJan 14, 1889Jan 10, 1893Republican
John Peter AltgeldJan 10, 1893Jan 11, 1897Democratic
John Riley TannerJan 11, 1897Jan 14, 1901Republican
Richard Yates Jr.Jan 14, 1901Jan 9, 1905Republican
Charles S. DeneenJan 9, 1905Feb 3, 1913Republican
Edward Fitzsimmons DunneFeb 3, 1913Jan 8, 1917Democratic
Frank Orren LowdenJan 8, 1917Jan 10, 1921Republican
Len SmallJan 10, 1921Jan 14, 1929Republican
Louis Lincoln EmmersonJan 14, 1929Jan 9, 1933Republican
Henry HornerJan 9, 1933Oct 6, 1940Democratic
John Henry StelleOct 6, 1940Jan 13, 1941Democratic
Dwight H. GreenJan 13, 1941Jan 10, 1949Republican
Adlai Stevenson IIJan 10, 1949Jan 12, 1953Democratic
William StrattonJan 12, 1953Jan 9, 1961Republican
Otto Kerner Jr.Jan 9, 1961May 21, 1968Democratic
Samuel H. ShapiroMay 21, 1968Jan 13, 1969Democratic
Richard B. OgilvieJan 13, 1969Jan 8, 1973Republican
Dan WalkerJan 8, 1973Jan 10, 1977Democratic
James R. ThompsonJan 10, 1977Jan 14, 1991Republican
Jim EdgarJan 14, 1991Jan 11, 1999Republican
George RyanJan 11, 1999Jan 13, 2003Republican
Rod BlagojevichJan 13, 2003Jan 29, 2009Democratic
Pat QuinnJan 29, 2009Jan 12, 2015Democratic
Bruce RaunerJan 12, 2015Jan 14, 2019Republican
J. B. PritzkerJan 14, 2019-Democratic