Available July 2023
Order at siupress.com or from online booksellers
A life of principles, service, and faith
This first biography of Glenn Poshard traces the life of a young man who rose from rural poverty in Southern Illinois to become a United States congressman and president of the Southern Illinois
University system. This profound portrait unveils a life and career dedicated to making higher education affordable and improving the quality of life for the community of Southern Illinois.
Beginning with his childhood in a two-room home near Herald, Illinois and the early, tragic loss of his sister, this biography navigates Poshard’s service in the military, his time as a state senator and United States congressman, his run for governor, his years at Southern Illinois University, and the establishment of the Poshard Foundation for Abused Children. Intimacies of his personal life are disclosed, such as his struggles with and treatment for depression, his passion for education, and the lasting bonds he formed with his teachers. His unpopular decision to refuse PAC donations is also highlighted, along with the work that went into sponsoring the Illinois Wilderness Act, and his relationship with civil rights activist John Lewis. Glenn Poshard’s efforts for the Wilderness Act designated Southern Illinois’s famous Garden of the Gods as a National Wilderness Preservation System, which continues to attract visitors from around the world.
Poshard’s path from poverty was riddled with hardship, but his perseverance and family values ultimately allowed for longstanding personal and civic growth. From an admirable work ethic to a steadfast commitment to problem-solving, this biography illuminates the life and accomplishments of an impressive and generous leader.
“Very few, if any, biographies of prominent politicians are this candid, resulting in a unique and important political biography.”
—John S. Jackson, editor of Southern Illinois University at 150 Years
Glenn Poshard has lived a remarkable life … His is an American story worth reading. —Governor Jim Edgar
It is difficult to estimate the influence of Glenn’s life on vulnerable and ‘faceless’ children whose lives have been dignified and enriched through his vision, love, and service … His life is truly a testament that those who grow through service are magnified, and humble hearts combined with genuine love can lead to great accomplishments.
—Jini Roby, professor emeritus of social work, Brigham Young University
“More than any person I know, Glenn Poshard has given a life of commitment to the families of Southern Illinois. … The voters, even when they disagreed with him, knew he was an honest, caring man in a world desperately searching for public servants to believe in.” —Senator Dick Durbin
“Glenn’s tireless dedication to working men and women and their unions has not wavered in the forty years I have known him.” — Edward M. Smith, president and CEO of Ullico
The links below are to a 2-part segment of Capitol Cast with Jennifer Fuller on the Illinois News Network. This is also available on the Capitol News Illinois website. Capitol News uses seasoned journalists to cover the statehouse, public policy and related issues in Illinois.
Below are links to 2 book reviews, one by Mike Matejka for labor publications and the other written by Richard Hayden from the August 24, 2023 Toledo, IL Democrat, reprinted with permission.
The links below are to a series of podcasts from the SIU Press.
The link below is to an article published August 9 in the Edwardsville Intelligencer newspaper.
The link below is to an article in Chicago Magazine
The link below is to an article by Jim Dey of the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette
The link below is to an interview with Poshard on KSDK in St. Louis
The link below is to an article in the Southern Illinoisan newspaper on August 8
Listen to Poshard and Walworth on nowdecatur.com Podcast (July 20)