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Accession Number 1900.001
Catalog Number 1900.001.061
Object Name Painting
Title Portrait of John J. Gilligan
Description Portrait of Ohio's 62nd governor, John J. Gilligan (1971-1975), shows the governor sitting in a red leather chair studded with brass brads. His elbows rest on the chair arms and his hands are laid in his lap. He wears a blue pin-stripe suit with a white shirt, cuff links and a blue striped tie.
Date 1975
Artist Wilson, David Philip, 1902-1981
Notes John J. Gilligan was born on March 22, 1921, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Notre Dame in 1943, and he then enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving for the duration of World War II. Upon returning to the United States, Gilligan enrolled at the University of Cincinnati, graduating in 1947.

Upon graduating from the University of Cincinnati, Gilligan taught literature courses at Xavier University. In 1953, he embarked upon a career in politics, winning election to the Cincinnati City Council as a member of the Democratic Party. Gilligan served on the council from 1953 to 1963. In 1964, Gilligan won election to the U.S.House of Representatives, representing Ohio's 1st District. He only served one term (1965-1967). He lost his reelection bid because the Republican-controlled state legislature redrew his district, placing a much larger number of Republicans in it. In 1968, Gilligan unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate.

Undaunted after these two defeats, Gilligan remained active in politics, winning election to the Ohio governor's office in 1970. During Gilligan's administration, Ohio adopted a graduated state income tax to overcome budget shortfalls. Gilligan also saw the implementation of the state lottery during his time in office, although he opposed this measure. In 1973, the state legislature and the governor concurred to lower the voting age to eighteen years, and Gilligan also secured funding to improve Ohio's transportation infrastructure. The governor sought reelection in 1974, but he lost to former governor James Rhodes.

Upon leaving the governor's office, Gilligan served as the director of the United States Agency for International Development from 1977 to 1979. He also taught at several universities, including the University of Notre Dame. In 1999, he returned to politics, winning election to the Cincinnati, Ohio, School Board. Interestingly, Gilligan's daughter, Kathleen Sebelius, served as the governor of Kansas. Gilligan and Sebelius are the only father and daughter to be elected as state governors. She was sworn in as the 21st Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on April 28, 2009.

Gilligan died on August 26th 2013
People Gilligan, John J. (John Joyce), 1921-2013
Wilson, David Philip, 1902-1981
Signed Name "David Philip Wilson 1975"
Sig Loc Lower left
Image size 30" x 24"
Frame size 35" x 30"
Frame desc Last-quarter twentieth century cove-molded gilt frame
Material Oil Paint/Canvas/Wood
Provenance In 1867, the Ohio General Assembly passed a joint resolution relative to the governors of Ohio. The legislators resolved that "the secretary of state, on the first Monday of January next, whether the portraits of the governors of Ohio, state and territorial, can be procured, and if so, whether original portraits or copies, and the probable expense of procuring such portraits for the governor's office."

David Philip Wilson painted and signed this portrait in 1975.

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board took over the care of the Statehouse and its collections in 1988.
Search Terms Ohio Governor
Ohio Governor's Portraits
Subjects Governors
Portrait paintings
Collection Statehouse Artwork Collection/Governors' Portraits