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Roland V. Libonati

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Roland V. Libonati
Libonati, c. 1959
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 7th district
In office
December 31, 1957 – January 3, 1965
Preceded byJames Bowler
Succeeded byFrank Annunzio
Member of the Illinois Senate
In office
Member of the
Illinois House of Representatives
In office
In office
Personal details
Born(1897-12-29)December 29, 1897
Chicago, Illinois
DiedMay 30, 1991(1991-05-30) (aged 93)
Chicago, Illinois
Political partyDemocratic
Jeannette Van Hanxleden
(m. 1942)
  • Ernest Libonati (father)
  • Flora Pellettieri (mother)
Alma materLewis Institute
University of Michigan
Northwestern University Law School
  • Lawyer
  • politician
Military service
AllegianceUnited States
BranchUnited States Army
ConflictWorld War I

Roland Victor Libonati (December 29, 1897 – May 30, 1991) was a United States Representative from Illinois.

Libonati was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Ernest and Flora (née Pellettieri) Libonati.[1] He earned an Associate of Arts degree from the Lewis Institute in 1918. During World War I, he served as a lieutenant in the United States Army. After the war, Libonati returned to school, graduating from the University of Michigan in 1921 and from the Northwestern University Law School with a Juris Doctor degree in 1924.

Libonati was admitted to the bar in 1924 and commenced law practice in Chicago. He was the founder and owner of the American Boys' Camp for indigent children at Coloma, Wisconsin, and, infamously, was also lawyer to Al Capone.

He married Jeannette Van Hanxleden in 1942, and they had one son, Michael.[2]

He served as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1930 to 1934 from 1940 to 1942, and the Illinois Senate from 1942 to 1947. He served as delegate to every state Democratic convention from 1942 to 1987.

Libonati was elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-fifth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of James B. Bowler. He was reelected to the Eighty-sixth, Eighty-seventh, and the Eighty-eighth Congresses (December 31, 1957 – January 3, 1965).

According to Todd S. Purdum's An Idea Whose Time Has Come, Libonati's political career ended as a result of his votes during the drafting of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Libonati had been a reliable ally of Richard J. Daley's Cook County Democratic Party political machine. During the House Judiciary Committee markup on the civil rights bill, he reneged on agreements with Chairman Emanuel Celler and President John F. Kennedy, who had asked him to help weaken the bill in order to ensure it could win Republican support and pass a Senate filibuster. Libonati instead voted with liberal colleagues who wanted to maintain the bill's stronger provisions, even though Kennedy had spoken to Daley directly to complain about his behavior. In a private conversation with a colleague shortly after the vote, Libonati said he had received a call from the Daley machine indicating that his political career was over.[3]

Libonati was not a candidate for renomination to the Eighty-ninth Congress in 1964.

Following his political career, he resumed the practice of law. He was a resident of Chicago until his death on May 30, 1991. He was buried at Calvary Cemetery in Evanston, Illinois.

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  1. ^ "Libonati". Chicago Tribune. May 21, 1935. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  2. ^ "Libonati Wins in Congress Race by 8 to 1". Chicago Tribune. January 1, 1958. p.1, 4.
  3. ^ Purdum, Todd (2014). An idea whose time has come : two presidents, two parties, and the battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. New York, New York: Henry Holt and Company. pp. 144–145. ISBN 978-0-8050-9672-9. OCLC 858353760.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 7th congressional district

Succeeded by

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

This page was last edited on 15 December 2022, at 14:15
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