News

House Speaker Blair Dies

House Speaker Blair Dies

Photo: Newsradio WTAX

The Illinois House speaker who’s credited with helping establish the Regional Transportation Authority has died.

Family members say W. Robert Blair II died Saturday at age 83. His wife, Rozanne, says he had been ill for some time.

Blair was elected to the Illinois House in 1964 and served as speaker from 1971 to 1975.

He’s also credited for modernizing the Illinois Legislature by expanding staff and making in-depth research more easily accessible.

Blair and his wife split time between residences in Chicago, Somonauk and Sarasota, Fla. Blair also served as chairman of the Illinois Transportation Study Commission and was in the Air Force. He was the father of nine children.

Blair’s funeral Mass will be Thursday in LaGrange Park.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘Wild’ is both unsettling and triumphant

This image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures shows Reese Witherspoon in a scene from the film, "Wild."

Reese Witherspoon leaves her comfort zone as real-life hiker Cheryl Strayed in "Wild."

in Entertainment

Cameron Diaz engaged to Good Charlotte star

camerondiaz

The "Charlie's Angels" star is reportedly planning to marry Benji Madden.

in Entertainment

MOVIES: 25 Days of Christmas Films

James Stewart, center, is reunited with his wife, Donna Reed, left, and children during the last scene of Frank Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life".

Count down to Christmas with these 25 festive holiday movies.

in Black Friday, Entertainment

‘TIS THE SEASON: Holiday specials, bowl games this weekend

Elf

Here's a look at Christmas classics, holiday favorites, and sports specials airing this weekend.

in Entertainment

Stars lose millions of followers in Instagram crackdown

kim-kardashian2

Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian are among the celebs who lost fake followers when the social media service purged fraudulent accounts.