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  • Otto Kerner Collection

Otto Kerner, Jr., served as the governor of Illinois from 1961-1968. Prior to his election as governor, Kerner was the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois from 1947-1954 and then a judge for the Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County. Kerner served in the Illinois National Guard from 1934-1942, the United States Army from 1942-1946 and the Army National Guard again in 1946, retiring as a major general in 1954. Kerner joined the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th District in 1968 after leaving the governorship.

While in office Kerner focused on economic development, education, mental health services, and equal access to jobs and housing. He chaired the National Davisory Commission on Civil Disorders, secured funding for the construction of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and increased exports of Illinois products.

In 1973 Kerner faced charges in federal court stemming from bribes taken while he was in office. Kerner was convicted and sentenced to 3 years in prison and fined $50,000.  

Photographs in this collection include Kerner participating in ceremonial duties.

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