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Buzbee, Kenneth V. (1937-) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Buzbee, Kenneth V. (1937-)
Variant Name: Buzbee, Ken

Historical Note: Kenneth V. Buzbee was an Illinois state senator for the 58th district from 1973-1985.  Buzbee was born on November 30, 1937 in Anna, Ill.  He received a B.S. in  Radio-TV and Government and an M.A. in Political Science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. While he was still a student he worked as a broadcaster at several area radio stations: WRAJ (Anna, Ill.), WJPF (Herrin, Ill.) and WGGH (Marion, Ill.).  In 1958 he participated in the creation of SIU's public radio station, WSRV-FM (later WSIU).  He served three years in the U. S. Marine Corps from 1961-1964 and retired from the Marine Corps Reserves in 1988 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  He was first elected to the state senate in 1972.  He served on the Senate Appropriations I; Agriculture-Conservation and Energy; Elementary and Secondary Education; and Higher Education Committees; and was chair of the Senate Appropriations II Committee after it was formed in 1977.  He was a member of the Illinois Energy Resources Commission from its founding in 1974 and served as its chair from 1979 to 1981.  He was active in the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).  He did not seek re-election in 1984 in order to run for the U. S. House seat being vacated by Paul Simon.  He lost to Kenneth J. Gray in the Democratic primary.  From 1985 to 1996 he worked as a consultant and lobbyist and small businessman.  From 1996 to 1999 he worked for the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges.  In 1999 he was appointed director of the Business Services Department of the Illinois Secretary of State's office.  He retired in 2006.
Sources: Illinois Blue Book 1981-1982; interview with Kenneth V. Buzbee, July 2, 2010.
Note Author: Walter D. Ray

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