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Jim Nowlan - Legislators Project

Jim Nowlan began his career as a very young member of the Illinois legislature representing a conservative district in central Illinois from 1967 through January of 1973. His time in the legislature corresponded with the tumultuous events of 1968, the adoption of a state income tax and the state's acceptance of a new constitution. He left that world behind in 1973, returning in the late 1970s to help with several campaigns. For the rest of Nowlan's career, however, he has been thinking, teaching and writing about Illinois's politics, for which there is an inexhaustible supply of important topics to discuss. From 1995 to 2013 he was the Senior Fellow at the UIUC Institute of Government and Public Affairs, and since 2014 he has been a columnist, with his columns regularly appearing in many Illinois newspapers.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Touhy and Income Tax

Abstract

Interview Session 1 - Audio

Early life and years in the Illinois legislature from 1969-1973

Interview Session 2 - Audio

Thompson admin, Percy & John Anderson campaigns and teaching career

Interview Session 3 - Audio

Illinois’s economic decline, demographic and journalistic changes


Photos

Caption
A photo of Jim Nowlan from the 2010s. He was living in Toulon, Illinois at the time, publishing a local newspaper, the Stark County News.

Where:
Toulon, Illinois

When:
2010s

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

Caption
Bill Campbell, Jim’s friend, a former 82nd Airborne Ranger and quadriplegic due to an auto accident, became an editorial cartoonist and teacher. One of Bill’s students drew this caricature of Jim, which he cherishes.

Where:
Unknown

When:
Unknown

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

Caption
Jim holds up a portrait of Abraham Lincoln during at event at the county courtroom in Toulon, where county board meets as well. 

Where:
Toulon, Illinois

When:
Unknown

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

Caption
Jim Nowlan makes a point during a meeting of a Stark County board meeting in the county courthouse in Toulon, Illinois.  

Where:
Toulon, Illinois

When:
Unknown

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

Caption
A young Jim Nowlan as a teen sits at the linotype machine working on his father’s newspaper in Toulon.

Where:
Toulon, Illinois

When:
1960s

Ownership:
Narrator’s photo

Caption
While in the last year of Edgar’s administration, Gov. Jim Edgar signed this photo of himself with Jim during a private dinner. Following Edgar’s time as governor, they worked together at the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

Where:
Unknown

When:
1998

Ownership:
This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption
Nowlan is shown here campaigning in a Latinx neighborhood in Rock Island during the 1972 campaign of Ogilvie-Nowlan for governor and lieutenant governor.

Where:
Rock Island, Illinois

When:
1972

Ownership:
Narrator’s photo

Caption
This photo appeared in the the Peoria Journal-Star on April 13, 2003.  The caption read “Political guru Jim Nowlan peers out of the blinds from inside the Stark County News, where he serves as editor and publisher in his boyhood home of Toulan.”

Where:
Toulan, Illinois

When:
2003

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



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