40th governor of Illinois from 2003 to 2009
Rod Blagojevich (blə-GOY-ə-vitch, born December 10, 1956), often referred to by his nicknames "Blago" or "B-Rod", is an American former politician, political commentator, and convicted felon who served as the 40th governor of Illinois from 2003 to 2009, when he was impeached following charges of public corruption for which he was later sentenced to federal prison. A member of the Democratic Party, Blagojevich previously worked in both the state and federal legislatures. He served as an Illinois state representative from 1993 to 1997, and the U.S. representative from Illinois's 5th district from 1997 to 2003. Born and raised in Chicago, Blagojevich graduated from Northwestern University in 1979 and the Pepperdine University School of Law in 1983. After graduating, he became a criminal prosecutor at the Cook County State's Attorney Office during the late 1980s. Turning to elective politics, he represented the 33rd state house district in the Illinois House of Representatives where he supported mostly law and order policies. Forgoing a second term in the state legislature, he represented Illinois's 5th congressional district for six years, winning re-election twice. He was elected Illinois governor in 2002, the first Democrat to win the office since 1972. There was increased public education funding, infrastructure development, and criminal justice reforms during his first term. A 2006 re-election and his second term led to the passage of a variety of healthcare, gun control, and anti-discrimination bills.
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