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.

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