Former Illinois Governor Dan Walker, who served between 1973 and 1977, passed away early this morning at a veterans hospital in Chula Vista, California, according to his son, Will. Walker was 92.
Will Walker says his father died due to old age, and, ultimately, heart failure.
He was the second Illinois governor to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, and served as a naval officer during World War II and the Korean War.
Walker attracted attention while campaigning for governor by walking 1,197 miles across the state, and attacking then-Lieutenant Governor Paul Simon for accepting the endorsement of the Cook county Democratic Party and Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley. Walker said Simon was part of the "Daley machine."
Walker would narrowly win the Democratic nomination, and ultimately the election for governor.
After serving as governor, Walker went into the private sector, forming Butler-Walker, Inc. It was a company that built several quick oil change properties, which were later bought by Jiffy Lube. he also bought two savings and loan properties, one of them was the troubled First American Savings and Loan. In 1987, Walker was charged with federal bank fraud based on two First American loans. Those would ultimately land him in prison for 18 months. Walker and his wife repaid the loans once he was released from prison.
According to Walker's son, Walker raised seven children and is survived by 22 grandchildren. Funeral arrangements have not yet been set.