Take me back to the Oral History landing page.


Taylor Pensoneau - Journalists View

Taylor Pensoneau covered the Illinois Statehouse beat for the St. Louis Post Dispatch from Oct.1965-Jan.1978, reporting on the Richard Ogilvie, Dan Walker, and Jim Thompson gubernatorial administrations. Following this, he worked for several years as a lobbyist at the Illinois Coal Association, and while there began a third career, writing books on Illinois' political and criminal history.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Ribicoff Gestapo Tactics

Abstract

Abstract-2018

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Early life, early career as journalist & Kerner administration

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Early life, early career as journalist & Kerner administration

Interview Session 03 (Audio)

Taylor’s observations on the Richard Ogilvie administration

Interview Session 04 (Audio)

Taylor’s observations on the Richard Ogilvie administration

Interview Session 05 (Audio)

Observations on the 1972 election & Dan Walker administration

Interview Session 06 (Audio)

Observations on the 1972 election & Dan Walker administration

Interview Session 07 (Audio)

Jim Thompson’s administration & Pensoneau w/ IL Coal Assn

Interview Session 08 (Audio)

Jim Thompson’s administration & Pensoneau w/ IL Coal Assn

Interview Session 09 (Audio)

Jim Edgar’s administration & Pensoneau w/ IL Coal Assn

Interview Session 10 (Audio)

Jim Edgar’s administration & Pensoneau w/ IL Coal Assn

Interview Session 11 (Audio)

Reflections on George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich administrations

Interview Session 12 (Audio)

Taylor reflects on the evolution of journalism in the United States

Interview Session (Audio)

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter's experiences during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago

Transcript I

Transcript II


Photos

Caption

Taylor’s father, Leslie E. Pensoneau, taken as a young man (around the 1930s) Belleville, IL. Leslie operated a men’s clothing store during much of his life.

Where:

Belleville, IL

When:

around the 1930s

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo

Caption

Taylor standing on the front steps of his family home on South Jackson Street in Belleville, Illinois (around 1945 or 1946).

Where:

Belleville, IL

When:

1945 or 1946

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo

Caption

Taylor as a pupil at High Mount Elementary School in Swansea, Illinois (around 1951 or 1952).

Where:

Swansea, IL

When:

1951 or 1952

Ownership:

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

Caption

Photo of Taylor with his sister Leslie Ann Pensoneau at Scott Air Force Base near Belleville in 1953 or 1954.

Where:

Scott Air Force Base

When:

1953 or 1954

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo



Caption:

Photo of Taylor, during his senior year after he won a high school news writing contest at Washington University in St. Louis. Standing at the far left is Miss Lillian Jossem, the journalism teacher who spurred my interest in becoming a reporter.

Where:

Belleville Township High School

When:

1957-1958

Ownership:

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

Caption

The house on South Jackson Street in Belleville, Illinois where Taylor lived for much of the 1940s.

Where:

Belleville, IL

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo



Caption:

School photo of the Junior College football team, taken during the fall of 1959.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Fall of 1959

Ownership:

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

Caption

Family photo, Christmas 1967, of Taylor with his sister Leslie Ann and younger brother Terry.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Christmas 1967

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo


Caption:

Taylor’s brother Terry (on the left) as a United States Marine Lieutenant stationed in Vietnam. He commanded a rifle platoon and was killed in action on December 16, 1968.

Where:

Vietnam

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo

Caption:

George Thomas Duffy at the University of Missouri at Columbia after resigning as editor of the East St. Louis Journal in 1961. Duffy worked him hard both night and day to prepare him for the job of reporter at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1962

Ownership:

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

Caption

Taylor as a young Post-Dispatch reporter, covering one of the first civil rights demonstrations in St. Louis in 1963 or 1964.

Where:

St. Louis

When:

1963 or 1964

Ownership:

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

Caption

Photo of Taylor with his mother Bernice (Bee) Pensoneau (maiden name was Taylor), in the early 1980s.

Where:

Unknown

When:

early 1980s

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo



Caption:

Taylor with Illinois Governor Richard B. Ogilvie after he had interviewed him at the request of the station on his governorship. The interview took place a few weeks after his losing bid in the November 1972 for reelection as governor.

Where:

Springfield IL

When:

November 1972

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Standing (l-r) are Thomas Drennan (Ogilvie’s principal political confidant), Jeremiah Marsh (the governor’s legal counsel) and Brian Whalen (Ogilvie’s deputy governor) during a reception in recognition of the publication of Taylor’s book on Ogilvie.

Where:

The Chicago Club

When:

November 24, 1997

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Photo taken when Paul Simon was lieutenant governor of Illinois, and Taylor was the Illinois political writer for the Post-Dispatch. Simon was photographed while spending an evening at the Pensoneau home.

Where:

Southern View, a suburb of Springfield

When:

1970 or 1971

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo



Caption:

Photo of Governor James R. Thompson (far right) convened a summit on the Illinois Coal Industry. Taylor Pensoneau, Jim Rea (wearing glasses; a member of the General Assembly from Christopher), and Don Coovert (a coal industry tax expert).

Where:

Executive Mansion in Springfield

When:

mid-1980s

Ownership:

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

Caption

Photo taken during the early 1980s, Taylor Pensoneau as the Vice President of the Illinois Coal Association, paying a visit to a surface mine in Southern Illinois.

Where:

Southern Illinois

When:

early 1980s

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo

Caption

Taylor Pensoneau (ICA VP) and Joseph Spivey (the president of the Illinois Coal Association) together with Congressman Glenn W. Poshard (center) from Southern Illinois to discuss the industry’s problems in the state.

Where:

Washington DC

When:

October, 1989

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Photo of Governor Jim Edgar on May 31, 1991, announcing a program intended to stimulate sales of Illinois coal during a visit with Taylor Pensoneau and others at a surface mine in Perry County.

Where:

Perry County, Illinois

When:

May 31, 1991

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Photo of Governor Jim Edgar and Taylor Pensoneau on September 1, 1994, viewing a mining site in Southern Illinois after signing a bill intended to benefit the Illinois coal industry.

Where:

Southern Illinois

When:

September 1, 1994

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Taylor and Elizabeth Pensoneau pictured on the day of their wedding, October 14, 1995.

Where:

Unknown

When:

October 14, 1995

Ownership:

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

Caption

Taylor’s biography of Illinois Senate leader W. Russell Arrington was introduced through presentations in the Illinois General Assembly. l-r: Mrs. Michael (Kate) Arrington, former Governor Jim Edgar, Michael Arrington and Michael J. Madigan

Where:

Unknown

When:

February 21, 2007

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Photo of Taylor interviewing former Governor Dan Walker in a restaurant in Del Mar, California in 1992. Taylor was gathering information for the writing of Walker’s biography, Taylor’s first book.

Where:

Del Mar, California

When:

1992

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo



Caption:

A reception following the publishing of the Walker biography. Photographed alongside Walker, Taylor Pensoneau, and an unidentified woman is Bob Ellis, a West Frankfort newsman and later mayor of West Frankfort who coauthored the biography.

Where:

West Frankfort, IL

When:

June, 1993

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo

Caption

Taylor Pensoneau and Joe Pearson (left) discussing Illinois coal matters with then Governor George Ryan (center). Taylor(president of the Illinois Coal Association), and Pearson (chief executive of a coal company operating in Illinois).

Where:

Edwardsville IL

When:

2001

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

November 24, 1997 at the Chicago Club, Taylor is speaking to those assembled at the reception following the publication of his biography of former Governor Ogilvie.

Where:

Chicago Club

When:

November 24, 1997

Ownership:

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



Caption:

Taylor discussing Illinois coal issues with the US Senator Richard Durbin (far right). Taylor was still the president of the Illinois Coal Association. Between Durbin and Pensoneau is Thomas Amberg, the head of a Chicago public relations firm.

Where:

Springfield IL

When:

2002

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo

Caption

Taylor Pensoneau with Antoinette Giancana, the daughter of mobster Sam Giancana (Mafia Princess.) The photo was taken during a gathering of Chicago crime writers, an event to which Taylor was invited as a result book on the Shelton gang.

Where:

Unknown

When:

September 2004

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo

Caption

Taylor Pensoneau and his son, Taylor Terry Pensoneau,. From the early 1990s through 2004, Taylor attended ten Rose Bowl games, mostly with his son (an attorney) who is also an avid college football fan.

Where:

Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, California

When:

2001

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo

Caption

Taylor Pensoneau's official photo from the 1973-1974 Illinois Blue Book.

Where:

Illinois Blue Book, 73-74

When:

1973-1974

Ownership:

Unknown



Social Links