"Let the will of the people be the law of the land."
On January 29, 2009, then-Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn took the oath of office as Illinois Governor when the sitting Governor was impeached and removed from office. Illinois was in the midst of a triple crisis of government corruption at the highest level, budget instability, and economic collapse caused by the deepest recession since the Great Depression.
In this photo, Quinn is joined by his sons Patrick and David and Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke as she administers the official oath of office in the Lieutenant Governor’s Office in the State Capitol.
Later, Quinn stood in the House Chamber for a ceremonial swearing-in administered by Justice Anne Burke with his son Patrick holding the Bible. Quinn was joined by his mother Eileen Quinn, brothers Tom and John, aunt and godmother Teresa Brickley, and many friends and relatives.
In his speech to the people of Illinois that historic day, Gov. Quinn described the ethic of service he inherited from his parents. As a model for his public service, Quinn invoked the memory of his late father who had served in the U. S. Navy and who had been described by his commanding officer in World War II as follows:
“Patrick J. Quinn is one of the finest men with whom I have ever worked. Extremely capable in his work, he was at all times cheerful, earnest, cooperative, frank, and honest. His personal character is beyond reproach. He is liked and admired by all of his associates.”
View the Governor’s Office Press Release of Former Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn becoming the 41st Governor of the State of Illinois.
View the Chicago Tribune's "Patrick Quinn asking voters to back him with prayers".
View the New York Times' "Successor in Illinois Is the Anti-Blagojevich".
In his first days and weeks and months in office, Gov. Quinn focused on three major initiatives: comprehensive reform of state government, passing a fair and balanced budget, and enacting a major jobs plan to put thousands of Illinois citizens back to work. Gov. Quinn worked closely with President Barack Obama to rescue the Illinois economy.
By squarely addressing the triple challenge of achieving ethics reform, promoting financial and budget responsibility, and getting Illinoisans back to work after a severe economic recession, Gov. Pat Quinn was elected Governor by Illinois voters in the November 2, 2010 election.
He took the oath of office on January 10, 2011, in a ceremony at the Convention Center in Springfield. The oath was again administered by Justice Anne Burke with his sons Patrick and David holding the Bible and an open house reception was held at the Governor’s Mansion afterward.
In the four years after his inauguration in January, 2011, Gov. Quinn led a comeback for the Illinois economy which created 300,000 jobs and significantly reduced unemployment in every part of the state. Each year, Gov. Quinn signed state budgets putting Illinois on a path of fiscal responsibility.
In addition, Gov. Quinn led passage and signed more progressive bills into law than any Governor in state history.
On November 4, 2014, Gov. Quinn lost his race to be re-elected Governor for another four-year term.
On January 6, 2015, Gov. Quinn spoke to the City Club of Chicago and delivered a farewell speech to the people of Illinois, outlining the much-improved condition of the state and his recommendations for making Illinois even better in the future.
View the Governor’s Office Press Release of Quinn Announcing Illinois' Economy Driving Forward into 2015.
On January 12, 2015, his last day in office, Gov. Quinn issued his final clemency decisions, including a commutation of the sentence of Tyrone Hood who was wrongly convicted for murder and had served 22 years in Menard Prison for a crime he did not commit. In his time as Governor, Pat Quinn granted 1,795 clemencies, more than any other Governor in state history.
After serving as Governor for 2,175 days from January 29, 2009 to January 12, 2015, Pat Quinn visited Mark Bazer on public television for an interview about his time as Governor.
View the biography of Pat Quinn.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”President Theodore Roosevelt