Kerner, Otto, Jr.

Kerner, Otto, Jr.

(1908–76) governor; born in Chicago. A Chicago corporate lawyer (1934–47) and distinguished World War II veteran, he was Illinois attorney general (1945–54), becoming Cook County judge in 1954. As governor (Dem., 1961–68), he effected fiscal and administrative reforms, leaving to chair the National Advisory Committee on Civil Disorders; the Committee's report (1968) became known as "the Kerner Report" and played a major role in redirecting Americans' thinking about their society's racial problems. A U.S. Court of Appeals judge (1968–74), he was sentenced to a three-year jail term (1974) for racetrack fraud.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.