Published December 30, 2008
-- Born in Centralia, Illinois, Roland Burris received his bachelor's degree in political science from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1959.
-- He then studied at the University of Hamburg, Germany, for a year before entering law school at Howard University.
-- He began his career in 1963 as a national bank examiner for the U.S. Treasury Department. Burris was the first African-American National Bank Examiner for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for the U.S. Treasury Department.
-- From 1964 to 1973, Burris served as vice president of Continental Illinois National Bank.
-- Burris began his government career in 1973. He was appointed by the Governor of Illinois as Director of the Department of Central Management Services from 1973 to 1977.
-- In 1978, with his election to the first of three terms as state comptroller, he made history as the first African-American elected to state office.
-- On November 6, 1990, he was elected attorney general for the state of Illinois. He served as Illinois attorney general from 1991 to 1995.
-- Burris was defeated by Paul Simon when running for the U.S. Senate in 1984.
-- He ran for governor in 2004.
-- He is currently Senior Counsel to Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan (an Illinois law firm) and a principal in Burris & Lebed Consulting.
-- He also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Master of Public Administration Program at Southern Illinois University.
-- He has also served as Vice-Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1985 to 1989.
-- Burris has served as President of the National Association of Comptroller and of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers.
-- He was also a Trustee of the Financial Accounting Foundation Board and served three years on the Executive Board as a Trustee of the Government Finance Office Association of the United States and Canada.
-- He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Inland Real Estate Corporation as an independent director and is Chairman of Governance and Nominating Committee.
-- He has previously served on the Boards of the Illinois Criminal Justice Authority, Law Enforcement Foundation of Illinois, Illinois Supreme Court Committee for Civil Jury Instructions, Chair of the Illinois State Justice Commission, and the Chicago Area Boy Scouts of Americas Board.
-- He has also served as Director of the following non-profit corporations: National Center for Responsible Gaming, Auditorium Theatre of Chicago, and the National Conference for Community and Justice.
-- His citations include Whos Who in America; Whos Who in Government; and Whos Who in Law.
-- He has been recognized annually for 16 years by Ebony Magazine as one of The 100 Most Influential Black Americans.
-- Crain's Chicago Small Business Magazine named Burris as one of the three Outstanding Financial Officers in The United States in 1986.