November 17, 2010
It is with great sorrow that the Civic Federation acknowledges the passing of Lawrence “Larry” N. Hansen, one of the strongest proponents of good government causes in Illinois. Mr. Hansen passed away from cancer on November 15, 2010 at the age of 69.
Larry Hansen’s 50-plus year career in politics and philanthropy is legendary. His career as a social activist started in 1962 with work in Lima, Peru to help build sanitation facilities and continued during the “Freedom Summer” of 1964 when he traveled to Mississippi to help register African Americans to vote.
After graduating from the University of Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in history and political science, Mr. Hansen took an internship as a staff assistant in the Illinois General Assembly. There, he met Adlai E. Stevenson III and worked on Stevenson’s successful State Treasurer campaign in 1966. During his work on that campaign, Mr. Hansen met his future wife, Margaret "Marge" Rybicki.
Mr. Hansen continued working for Stevenson as an assistant until 1981. Through 1982 and 1983, Mr. Hansen worked as an aide and adviser to Walter Mondale in the run-up to Mondale’s announcement of his candidacy for U.S. president.
As the founder of the Joyce Foundation’s Money and Politics program, Mr. Hansen helped foster political campaign reform organizations in the Midwest. His efforts led to the creation of the Midwest Democracy Network. He was also a steadfast friend of the Civic Federation, providing advice and support for many of our research projects.
Mr. Hansen was also heavily involved in many civic organizations, serving as the Chair of the Advisory Board of Illinois Issues and on the board of the University YMCA at the University of Illinois and Donors Forum.
For more information on Hansen’s life and contributions to democracy, please click here to read his complete obituary.
The Civic Federation’s Board of Directors and staff offer our condolences to Mr. Hansen’s family and many friends.