Shirley Madigan is the longtime wife of Michael Joseph Madigan –as in Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan.
Shirley’s husband is the longest-serving leader of any state or federal legislative body in history.
Born in Illinois on April 19, 1942; he is a graduate of Notre Dame and Loyola University Law School. After graduating from the Loyola University- Chicago School of Law, he established the Chicago law firm Madigan and Getzendanner.
Madigan was first elected as a delegate to the 1970 state Constitutional Convention and then as a state Representative the same year.
He served as Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives during the 1980s, most of the 1990s, and early 2000s. He has served as Speaker for all but two of the past 36 years.
Mike and wife, Shirley have been married since 1976. When the couple met, Shirley worked as a law firm receptionist and was a divorced mother of one.
Shirley Murray, was previously married but divorced Joel Murray. From her marriage she became the mother of daughter Lisa, who took Madigan’s last name and served as Illinois Attorney General from 2003 until 2019.
Michael and Shirley Madigan welcomed three children of their own, daughters Nicole and Tiffany; and son, Andrew Madigan. The family of six are often described as one of the most powerful political family in Illinois
Shirley Madigan later received a Master’s degree from Loyola University. She made a career at the Illinois Arts Council. She has worked there for 43 years. Shirley first took over the Arts Council in 1971 –and has served as chair of the Illinois Arts Council since 1983. Two years ago in 2017, she was heavily criticized for clinching to her position for such a long time. She was accused of conferring grants without official meetings, ignoring rampant conflicts of interest, and funneling millions of taxpayer dollars to asset-rich organizations.
In addition, Shirley is also a Trustee at Loyola University of Chicago and Director at After School Matters, Inc.