George Homer Ryan (born February 24, 1934, in Maquoketa, Iowa) was the 39th Governor of the U.S. state of Illinois from 1999 until 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party. Ryan became nationally known when he "raised the national debate on capital punishment" by issuing a moratorium on executions in 2000. He is currently serving a prison sentence and is the first of two consecutive Illinois governors to be convicted on federal corruption charges.
Ryan grew up in Kankakee County, Illinois. After serving in the U.S. Army in Korea, he worked for his father's two drugstores. He attended Ferris State College of Pharmacy (now Ferris State University) in Big Rapids, Michigan. Eventually, he built his father's pair of pharmacies into a successful family-run chain (profiting from lucrative government-contract business selling prescription drugs to nursing homes) which was sold in 1990.
Ryan married his high school sweetheart, Lura Lynn Ryan (née Lowe), on June 10, 1956, and they have five daughters (including a set of triplets) – Julie, Joanne, Jeanette, Lynda and Nancy – and one son, "Homer" (George Homer Ryan, Jr.) Ryan's brother Thomas "Tom" Ryan has also been a significant political figure in Kankakee County. In addition, Ryan's sister Kathleen Dean's former son-in-law Bruce Clark, is Kankakee County Clerk.