William B. Black (November 11, 1941 – September 9, 2023) was an American politician and a member of the Republican Party. He was best known for his long-standing role in the Illinois House of Representatives, where he represented the 104th district from 1986 until 2011. Black also served as the Deputy Republican Leader during his tenure.
Early Life and Career
William B. Black was born on November 11, 1941. He received his Bachelor of Arts from William Jewell College and went on to earn a Master of Arts in Education from the UIUC College of Education. Before entering politics, he was an administrator at Danville Community College. He was also a member and chair of the Vermilion County Board.
Time in the Illinois House of Representatives
Black was appointed to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1986, succeeding Representative Babe Woodyard, who had been appointed to the Illinois Senate. He went on to defeat former State Representative Larry Stuffle in the 1986 general election.
In the 2008 Republican Party presidential primaries, Black was a part of the Illinois leadership team supporting the campaign of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Initially, Black had announced his plans to retire at the end of his term in 2007. However, he re-entered the race after the Republican nominee, Scott Eisenhouer, withdrew his candidacy. Black was re-elected in November 2008, defeating Democrat Lori DeYoung of Fithian, Illinois. He eventually resigned from the Illinois House on December 22, 2010, and was succeeded by Chad Hays, who was appointed by the Republican county party chairs of the district.
After his legislative career, Black continued to serve the public in various capacities. In 2013, Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno appointed him to the Procurement Policy Board for a four-year term. In August 2014, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Danville Area Community College and was later elected in April 2015. Black chose not to run for re-election in 2021.
Legacy and Death
William B. Black passed away on September 9, 2023, at the age of 81. His long career in Illinois politics, from the county board to the state house, left an indelible impact on the state and its residents