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Philip J. Rock

Philip J. Rock (1937–2016) served fourteen years as the Illinois Senate president, longer than anyone in state history. Born a Catholic, a Democrat, and a Cubs fan, he demonstrated how a public official can be both a partisan politician and a principled leader striving to make government better serve its constituents. Widely acclaimed “for trying to do the right thing” and being fair to Republicans and Democrats alike, he interacted regularly with several giants in Illinois history, including Governor James R. Thompson, Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, and Chicago mayors Richard J. Daley, Harold Washington, and Richard M. Daley, which gave him a unique insider’s perspective on politics in both Illinois and Chicago. Many say he was the greatest statesman in Illinois politics in the last quarter of the twentieth century.

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