Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Former Uptown State Rep Larry McKeon Has Passed

We were sad to hear of the death of our former State Rep. Larry McKeon today. From the Tribune:

Former state Rep. Larry McKeon, the first openly gay member of the Illinois General Assembly, died Tuesday, House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie announced Wednesday on the state House floor. McKeon, 63, a Chicago Democrat, did not seek re-election in 2006 because of health struggles that included cancer and an AIDS-related digestive illness.

Update: Mary Schmich of the Tribune did a column on how McKeon opened the door to allow openly gay cops on the CPD.


  1. Rep. McKeon is marked in my memory as being one of only a handful of legislators who, like me, truly love Springfield. At the end of the work week most legislators leave Springfield with break neck speed. Not. Rep. McKeon. He loved the state capital so much that he chose to retire there. Both here and there, Rep. McKeon will be remembered and missed.

  2. Wait, what?

    Wouldn't it make more sense for a rep to spend as much time as possible in the districts they represent?

  3. sorry, he was part of the daley/shiller combine that really did harm to uptown - sorry that he died, but not sorry that is no longer an "elected" democrat elite

  4. God Bless, may the road rise with you...
    And Thanks for all the work you have accomplished for so many.

  5. He moved to Springfield toward the end so that he could be a pro bono lobbyist for gay causes, per his Tribune Obit. He wasn't representing his district after he retired, he was representing his special interest (and perhaps that could be said about his service before he retired also.)

  6. Anonymous 9:28 AM: This is the time and place you choose to express your dislike for Rep. McKeon? Think what you will but posting this remark upon the occasion of a man's death sullies you and explains why you and so many others need to post as Anonymous.

  7. Disrespect cuts both ways. I didn't like Larry's politics but I grew to like him personally when he brought his dog to play with mine at the Puptown Dog Park at Marine and Lawrence.

    However, I'll quite forgive McKeon for supporting gay rights activist Rick Garcia when Rick defaced Ronald Reagan's funeral book in the rotunda of the Illinois State capital as a media stunt.

    I didn't always agree with Ronald Reagan either, but he was my grandmother's neighbor as a child and his extended family was well known in my home town. That disrespect still stings too.