The 21st Show

Remembering James ‘Pate’ Philip, Illinois Senate president during era of Republican dominance


James "Pate" Philip presiding over the Illinois Senate in the 1990s. The DuPage County Republican served in the Illinois General Assembly for 36 years, from 1967–2003, and was senate president for his final decade in office. Public Domain/Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Oral History Program

Former Illinois Senate Presdient James “Pate” Philip died Tuesday at his home in Wood Dale. The former Marine known for speaking without regard for political correctness, and led the Illinois Senate during the years when Republicans dominated state government. He was 93.

We talked about his life and legacy with the Chicago Tribune's chief political reporter, Rick Pearson, who wrote Philip's obituary this mornig.

This conversation includes excerpts from Philip's oral history interview by Mark DePue with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.


Rick Pearson
Chief political reporter, Chicago Tribune