Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Taylor Pensoneau  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Creative Nonfiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1940 in Belleville, Illinois

-- Facebook --
-- Website --
-- Taylor Pensoneau on WorldCat --

E-Mail: --

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.


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

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Selected Titles At Your Library

Brothers notorious :
ISBN: 0971071802. OCLC Number: 48385273

Downstate Publications,. .

In Brothers Notorious, Pensoneau traces the Shelton story from its unpretentious beginning in rural Wayne County to the headline-capturing violence at the tale's conclusion.

Dan Walker :
ISBN: 0962341460. OCLC Number: 28639005

Smith Collins,. .

Dapper & Deadly :
ISBN: 0971071829. OCLC Number: 472852821

. .

ISBN: 1270594710. OCLC Number: 841788535

Gale Ecco, U S Supreme C,. .

Governor Richard Ogilvie :
ISBN: 9780809329076. OCLC Number: 551738683

Southern Illinois University Press,. .

Powerhouse :
ISBN: 1561679550. OCLC Number: 86106851

American Literary Press,. .

Reporting on life :
ISBN: 9780971071834. OCLC Number: 872670948

. .

Taylor Pensoneau emerged from the Norman Rockwell town of his Illinois youth to become a hard-hitting reporter, coal industry executive and well-known author. He reveals an inside view of the Illinois Statehouse pressroom, Watergate coverage and other chapters comprising his journey. He chronicles the famous and not as famous and shares a detailed look at those who greatly impacted his existence. His story tells of tasting life's best and suffering heartbreak. It is also a window to his beloved state and a testament to the opportunities that make his country the best bet on earth for the fulfillment of dreams.

The summer of '50 /
ISBN: 0971071810. OCLC Number: 53312664

Downstate Publications,. .