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John J. Gilligan

In office
January 11, 1971 – January 13, 1975
Lieutenant John W. Brown
Preceded by Jim Rhodes
Succeeded by Jim Rhodes

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 1st district
In office
January 3, 1965 – January 3, 1967
Preceded by Carl West Rich
Succeeded by Robert A. Taft, Jr.

Cincinnati City Council
In office
1953 – 1963

Cincinnati Board of Education
In office
1999 – 2007

Born March 22, 1921 (1921-03-22) (age 88)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Mary Kathryn Dixon
Children Kathleen Sebelius, 3 others
Religion Roman Catholic

John Joyce ("Jack") Gilligan (born March 22, 1921) is a Democratic politician from the U.S. state of Ohio who served as a U.S. Representative and the 62nd governor of Ohio.

Gilligan was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Harry and Blanche Gilligan. He graduated from St. Xavier High School in 1939,[1] the University of Notre Dame in 1943 and the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1947, serving in between in the United States Navy during World War II in the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean as a destroyer gunnery officer. He was awarded a Silver Star for gallantry in action at Okinawa.

After the war, Gilligan returned to Cincinnati to teach literature at Xavier University from 1948 to 1953. He also served as member of the Cincinnati city council from 1953 to 1963, and was a candidate for Ohio Congressman-at-Large in 1962. In 1964 he was elected to the Eighty-ninth Congress as a representative for Ohio's 1st district, serving from January 3, 1965-January 3, 1967. Gilligan narrowly lost his re-election bid to the Ninetieth Congress in 1966 to Republican Robert Taft Jr. after the Republican-controlled Ohio General Assembly redrew his district to favor the Republican Party. In 1968, Gilligan defeated sitting U.S. Senator Frank J. Lausche in the Democratic primary; however, he narrowly lost in the general election to Republican William B. Saxbe after Lausche refused to support him in the general election.

Gilligan won the election for the Governorship of Ohio in 1970, defeating Republican state Auditor Roger Cloud, and serving from 1971 to 1975. Gilligan unexpectedly lost the governorship to Republican James A. Rhodes in a tight race in 1974. He subsequently served as the administrator of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1977 to 1979. He served as director of the Institute for Public Policy from 1979 to 1986, and taught at the University of Notre Dame from 1986 to 1992. He also served as director of the civic issues forum at the University of Cincinnati School of Law.

In 1999, at age 78, Gilligan was elected to the Board of Education of the Cincinnati Public Schools. He chose not to stand for re-election when his term expired in 2007.

Gilligan is the father of four children, including Kathleen Sebelius, the current United States Secretary of Health and Human Services and former Governor of Kansas. They constitute the first father-daughter pair of governors in the United States.


  1. ^ Motz, Mark D. (2008-07-10). "Volume V, Issue 16". St. Xavier High School E-News mailing list. Retrieved 2008-07-11.

See also

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Carl W. Rich
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio's 1st District
Succeeded by
Robert Taft, Jr.
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Rhodes
Governor of Ohio
Succeeded by
Jim Rhodes

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.



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