Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Fiction History Non-Fiction

Born: 1940 in Belleville, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Pensoneau is a Belleville native. He graduated from Belleville Township High School and Belleville Junior College. He currently resides in Central Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Taylor Pensoneau 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 is the former president of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, former member of the Advisory Board for Illinois Issues magazine, former president of the Sangamon County Historical Society and former 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


-- "Dan Walker"

-- *Illinois State Historical Society's Certificate of Excellence


-- "Governor Richard Ogilvie"

-- *Illinois State Historical Society's Certificate of Excellence