Fair
64°FFairFull Forecast

Pioneering Ill. politician Dawn Clark Netsch dies

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO – Dawn Clark Netsch, a pioneer of Illinois politics who helped rewrite the state’s constitution and broke ground as the first woman to run for governor on a major ticket, died Tuesday, just weeks after revealing publicly that she had Lou Gehrig’s disease. She was 86.

Netsch, a former state comptroller and longtime state senator, was the first woman to get the Democratic nomination for governor in Illinois. She died early in the morning at home, said her nephew, Andy Kerr.

She announced in January that she had ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative disorder that weakens the nerves and makes it difficult to walk, swallow and speak, eventually leading to paralysis and death. Near the end of her life Netsch needed assistance to walk.

Get breaking and town-specific news sent to your phone. Sign up for text alerts from the Daily Chronicle.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Watch Now

Player embeded on all DDC instances for analytics purposes.

Judge Denies Motion to Drop Rifkin Charge

More videos »

Reader Poll

When do you start your back-to-school shopping?
Already have
Will in the next week or so
The weekend before school starts
The night before school starts
Don't have any family members in school