It might seem odd to describe the current governor of New Jersey as an "Illinoisan" but his roots in the Land of Lincoln are deep. Gov. Jon S. Corzine (D-New Jersey) was born on Jan. 1, 1947 near Willey Station, a small town near Taylorville, Illinois in Christian County. His father was a farmer and an insurance salesman and Jon was raised on the family farm. His mother was a public school teacher. Jon was a quarterback for the Taylorville High School football team and captain of the basketball team. He graduated from Taylorville High School in 1965.
Corzine attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He graduated with a B.A. degree in 1969 and earned a Phi Beta Kappa key. Corzine had also joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve while he was still and undergraduate and went on a short period of active duty for training in 1970. He stayed in his Marine Corps Reserve infantry unit as a sergeant until 1975. While working days in the bond department of Continental Illinois National Bank in Chicago starting in 1970, Jon was also attending classes at night and earned his MBA degree from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 1973.
In 1975 Corzine moved to Bank One, a regional bank in Ohio and then moved his family on to Hoboken, New Jersey when he was recruited by Goldman-Sachs, one of the world's leading investment banks. Goldman Sachs was founded in 1869 and is headquartered in Manhattan at 85 Broad Street.
Corzine was made a partner at Goldman Sachs in 1980 and rose through the ranks of the company. Corzine became Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs in 1994 and moved the company from a private partnership investment firm to a global publicly traded company. Jon Corzine was elected to the U.S. Senate from New Jersey in 2000 and served for five years of a six-year term. He was elected governor of New Jersey in November 2005 and began to serve as governor in late January 2006 and is still serving his first year in office.
For his deep roots and education in Illinois in addition to his success in two professions of business and politics at the top level, the governor of New Jersey is nevertheless a member of our Illinois Hall of Fame.