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

9 hours ago in Music

Don McLean pleads not guilty in domestic violence case

donmclean

The "American Pie" singer was arrested last month.

9 hours ago in Entertainment

Hugh Jackman had skin cancer – again

hughjackman

The "X-Men" star is recovering after his fifth skin cancer surgery in two years.

11 hours ago in Music

Lemmy to be immortalized outside his favorite bar

lemmy

A fundraising campaign is underway to pay for a life-sized Lemmy statue at the Rainbow Bar & Grill in L.A.

14 hours ago in Music

Metallica isn’t holding their breath for a Super Bowl invitation

metallicahetfield

The band says have their doubts that they'd ever be asked to do the Super Bowl halftime show.

17 hours ago in Entertainment

‘Star Wars’ breaks new record

24-overlay-2

The sci-fi epic, directed by J.J. Abrams, previously became the highest-grossing release in North American film history, after recently passing the $760.5 million "Avatar" hauled in in 2009.