Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Taylor Pensoneau  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Creative Nonfiction

Born: 1940 in Belleville, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Taylor was born in Belleville. He graduated from Belleville Township High School and Belleville Junior College. Currently, Taylor resides in Central Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Taylor is one of the state's leading biographers of Illinois historical figures. He graduated from the University of Missouri's School of Journalism and worked 16 years for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as the Springfield-based Illinois political correspondent. Pensoneau was also a political analyst at the Illinois statehouse. In early 1978, he joined the Springfield-based Illinois Coal Association as an executive and served as the Association's president from 1998 until his retirement in 2003. In 1991, former Illinois governor Daniel Walker asked Pensoneau to write his biography. Taylor's book ''Dan Walker: The Glory and the Tragedy'' was the start of his writing career. He has since written ''Brothers Notorious: The Sheltons'', an account of the rise and fall of the best-known gangster brothers to come out of southern Illinois, the critically acclaimed biography of former Illinois Governor Richard Ogilvie -''Governor Richard Ogilvie: In the Interest of the State'', ''Power House: Arrington from Illinois'' about Senate Republican leader W. Russell Arrington and a mystery novel titled ''Summer of '50''. Pensoneau's latest book is ''Dapper & Deadly: The True Story of Black Charlie Harris''. His books on former Governors Richard Ogilvie and Dan Walker received the Illinois State Historical Society's Certificate of Excellence.Pensoneau is the former president of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Center for the Book, an affiilate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. He is a member of the Advisory Board for ''Illinois Issues'' magazine, former president of the Sangamon County Historical Society and president of the Board of Trustees of the West Sangamon Public Library District. He and his wife also own and operate ''Downstate Publications'' in New Berlin.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- *Illinois State Historical Society's Certificate of Excellence 1998 and 1994 for ''Dan Walker