Bernard Epton Photo

Bernard Epton

Born: Aug 25, 1921

Death: Dec 13, 1987

Profession: Lawyer

Nationality: United States

Bernard Epton

Date of Birth : Aug 25, 1921
Date of Death : Dec 13, 1987

Bernard Epton was an American politician who served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1969 to 1983, when he lost a close and contentious election for mayor of Chicago. He would have become the city's first Jewish mayor and its first Republican mayor since William "Big Bill" Thompson was defeated in 1931. Epton served in World War II in the U.S. Army Air Force, for which he flew twenty-five missions over Germany and twice earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. During the postwar years, Epton became a successful attorney with a speciality in insurance law. A graduate of the University of Chicago and DePaul University College of Law, he was an unsuccessful liberal Republican candidate for U.S. Representative from Illinois' 2nd congressional district in 1960. With John F. Kennedy narrowly winning Illinois that year, Epton lost to the Democratic incumbent, Barratt O'Hara. Known for being witty and occasionally sharp-tongued, Epton was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1968 and served until 1983. He chaired the chamber's Insurance Committee.


  • Lawyer
  • Politician
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