Take me back to the Oral History landing page.


David Gilbert - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Dave Gilbert was a Chicago Tribune reporter in 1975 when Jim Thompson asked him to become his press secretary early in his first run for governor. Gilbert continued as Thompson's press secretary for the next ten years and three gubernatorial election campaigns, helping to craft the public face of one of Illinois's most colorful and popular governors. Gilbert discusses the 1982 gubernatorial campaign against Senator Adlai Stevenson III in detail, a race that was mired in allegations of vote fraud and was decided by the IL Supreme Court only a week before Gov. Thompson's inauguration.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Thompson in Cardinals Country

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Early life and journalistic career with the Chicago Tribune

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Jim Thompson’s 1976 gubernatorial campaign

Interview Session 03 (Audio)

First two years of the Thompson administration: 1977-1978

Interview Session 04 (Audio)

The election of 1978, and Thompson administration in 1979-1981

Interview Session 05 (Audio)

Thompson reelection campaign in 1982 and his administration thru 1985

Transcript

Related Materials

See Also

The video clip to which Mark DePue referred to in session 4 of David Gilbert's interview, the Thompson years as rendered in a Gilbert and Sullivan spoof.


Photos

Caption

Dave Gilbert, while a Chicago Tribune Political Reporter, covered the re-election of U.S. Senator Charles Percy in 1972.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1972

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Dave Gilbert and Jim Thompson are strategizing in the campaign RV during the 1976 gubernatorial election.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1976

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

During the 1976 gubernatorial campaign, Jim Thompson and Dave Gilbert traveled the length and breadth of Illinois on the campaign’s RV.

Where:

Illinois

When:

1976

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Governor Thompson and Dave Gilbert, circa 1976. “For David R. Gilbert, Esq., who laid back until just the right moment and then, in unflappable fashion, proceeded to fool 1,395,000 people! Well done, from, Jim Thompson.”

Where:

Unknown

When:

Circa 1977

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Governor Thompson wrote down his initial slate of appointees on a note pad shortly after his first election in 1976. The Transition Team worked in a suite apartment in the John Hancock building in Chicago.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1976

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

This report card of Gov. Thompson’s first year and a half in office appeared in The Thompson Insider, published in April, 1978 by the Thompson campaign.

Where:

The Thompson Insider

When:

April, 1978

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

In the midst of the 1978 gubernatorial campaign, Gov. Thompson got his picture taken riding a trick horse in his capitol building office, upstaging Michael Bakalis, who was holding a press conference on the capitol steps.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1978

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Dave Gilbert and Jim Thompson are at work in the Governor’s Chicago office, circa late 1970s.

Where:

Chicago, Illinois

When:

Circa late 1970s

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Governor Thompson, Dave Gilbert (holding card in the air), and members of the press corps gather under the Illinois banner at the Republican National Convention in in July, 1980. George Ryan is in the background.

Where:

Detroit, Michigan

When:

July, 1980

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Governor Thompson, surrounded by members of the press and the Illinois delegation, prepares for an interview with Garrick Utley, NBC News while at the GOP National Convention, in Detroit, Michigan in July, 1980.

Where:

Detroit, Michigan

When:

July, 1980

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Thompson being interviewed by Bob Kieckhefer, of the UPI, during the Republican National Convention in Detroit, Michigan in July, 1980.

Where:

Detroit, Michigan

When:

July, 1980

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Dave Gilbert and Greg Baise at the 1980 Republican Convention discussing dinner plans for the evening.

Where:

Detroit, Michigan

When:

July, 1980

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Dave Gilbert and Gov. Thompson review the governor’s speech before an Illinois Tourism event on the expansion of McCormick Place in Chicago in the mid 1980s. Linda Simon, Director of Tourism, can be seen in the background.

Where:

Chicago, Illinois

When:

Mid 1980's

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Lieutenant Governor George Ryan, Governor Thompson, and Dave Gilbert relax in the Governor’s office, circa 1981.

Where:

Illinois

When:

Circa 1981

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Candidate Jim Thompson parties with a group of potential supporters while on the campaign trail in 1982 in southern Illinois. The photo illustrates the populist approach Thompson took toward campaigning, adapting his image and style for each group.

Where:

Southern Illinois

When:

1982

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Secretary of State Jim Edgar and Dave Gilbert circa mid 1990s. “Who's Kidding Who,” at the Hilton Hotel in Springfield was the caption written on the back of the photo by Gilbert.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa mid 1990s

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The self-styled “Bad Boys” are together again at a Citizen for Thompson reunion for campaign workers at the Bismarck Theater in Chicago in 1995: Dave Gilbert, Governor Jim Thompson, and Greg Baise.

Where:

Chicago, Illinois

When:

1995

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Dave Gilbert at the executive mansion in Springfield with his press office staff: From left to right are David Fields, Woody Mosgers, Dave Gilbert, Jim Presscott, Susan Mogerman, and kneeling in front, Jim "Skilby" Skilbeck.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

David Gilbert, and his father, Robert Lee Gilbert, celebrated Robert’s 97th birthday in 2008 at the Centralia Manor.

Where:

Centralia, Illinois

When:

2008

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Press secretary Gilbert had given Thompson a quick lesson on milking cows (with two hands) before this photo was taken in at the Jersey County Fair while on the campaign trail. It was a rare occasion when Thompson didn’t take Gilbert’s advice.

Where:

Jersey County Fair, Illinois

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain



Social Links