Let to right: Former Illinois Secretary of State Michael J. Howlett (D-Chicago) receives the Illinois State Society Outstanding Public Service Award from the society's honorary Chair, Gov. James R. Thompson (R-Chicago) at the Society's Inagural Gala on Jan. 19, 1989.
Howlett and Thompson were opposing candidates for governor of Illinois in 1976. Mike Howlett had a long and distinguished record of public service to Illinois. He served as Illinois Auditor of Public Accounts for 12 years from 1961 to 1973 and as Secretary of State for four years from 1973 to 1977. As a young man, Mike played water polo for the Illinois Athletic Club and was on ten championship teams. He served in the Navy in World War II.