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Rod Blagojevich

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Rod Blagojevich
Blagojevich cropped.jpg
40th Governor of Illinois
Incarcerated Felon
In office
January 13, 2003 – January 29, 2009
Lieutenant Pat Quinn
Preceded by George Ryan
Succeeded by Pat Quinn
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Michael Patrick Flanagan
Succeeded by Rahm Emanuel
Personal details
Rod Blagojevich

December 10, 1956 (1956-12-10) (age 63)
Chicago, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Patricia Mell Blagojevich
Children Amy Blagojevich
Anne Blagojevich
Residence Federal Correctional Institution, Englewood, Jefferson County, Colorado
Alma mater Northwestern University (B.A.)
Pepperdine University (J.D.)
Profession Lawyer

Rod R. Blagojevich (born December 10, 1956) was 40th Governor of Illinois beginning January 13, 2003 and ending January 29, 2009. He succeeded George Ryan, who would also be arrested for non-related charges. Blagojevich was the first Governor of Illinois to be impeached while in office and the first Democratic politician in over 25 years to face such charges.[1]

Early life

Blagojevich was born in Chicago, Illinois, the second of four children. His father, Radislav, was an immigrant steel plant laborer from a village near Kragujevac, Serbia.[2] Blagojevich graduated from Chicago's Foreman High School after transferring from Lane Technical High School. He began boxing at a young age.

Governor of Illinois

During 2002, Blagojevich campaigned for his party's nomination to become governor. Blagojevich won a close primary campaign against former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris and Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Paul Vallas, who ran well in the suburban collar counties of Chicago.[3] Blagojevich finished strongly in Southern Illinois, winning 55% of the primary vote downstate, enough to win a primary victory by a thin margin.

In the general election, Blagojevich defeated Topinka and the Green Party's Rich Whitney, outspending Topinka $27 million to $6 million.[4][5] He attempted to tie Topinka to former Republican governor George Ryan's corruption.[6] Blagojevich won re-election.


He was arrested in December of 2008 on federal corruption charges, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.[7][8] Blagojevich was later impeached during January 2009, convicted and removed from office on January 29, 2009. On December 7, 2011, Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison. He is held at Federal Correctional Institution, Englewood in Jefferson County, Colorado.

Personal life

Blagojevich has been married to Patricia Mell Blagojevich. They have two children. His family owns a home in Chicago, but live in Jefferson County, Colorado because of Blagojevich's prison stay.


  1. "Impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been removed from office". Chicago,0,5791846.story?page=1. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  2. Copley News Service. Three Democrats battle for party's nomination for governor. March 9, 2002.
  3. "2002 Gubernatorial Democratic Primary Election Results – Illinois". Retrieved 2010-06-04.
  4. Monica Davey (December 14, 2008). "Two Sides of a Troubled Governor, Sinking Deeper". The New York Times.
  5. Christopher Wills (December 14, 2008). "Ill. governor: Eager for battle, rarely victorious". Associated Press.
  6. Riopell, Mike (December 10, 2008). "History repeats itself: Blagojevich not the first Gov. to be charged while in office". Bloomington Pantagraph. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  7. Source: Feds take Gov. Blagojevich into custody Chicago Breaking News. Retrieved December 9, 2009.
  8. United States Department of Justice (December 9, 2008). "Illinois gov. rod r. blagojevich and his chief of staff john harris arrested on federal corruption charges". Press release. Retrieved December 15, 2008.