Bruce Rauner

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Updated On January 26, 2022
Chicago, Illinois
Birth Sign
Chicago, Illinois

Bruce Rauner is the 42nd Governor of Illinois, and is an American businessman and politician. He was elected in 2015 after defeating Democratic nominee Pat Quinn in the general election. The results were tight during the counting of votes, with both parties surpassing the other many times. Quinn, on the other hand, only lost by four votes. With this, the Republican Party regained control of the governorship in Illinois after a 12-year absence. Despite the fact that he was contesting elections against a powerful challenger, he always seemed to be the more favorable candidate from the outset, owing to his extensive experience in commerce and money. Quinn’s inability to remove the “indecisive” label from his name, though, prepared the path for Rauner. In the eyes of the public, his strong stance on public charter schools and education has earned him the title of philanthropist. Many Americans have been inspired by his journey from valet to successful businessman. His tenacity and determination have aided him in achieving various life goals. Despite everything he has accomplished, he still remembers his humble beginnings as the grandson of a dairyman and uses them as a beacon to inspire others to be visionaries.

Early life and childhood

Bruce Rauner was born on February 18, 1957, in Chicago. He was born and raised in Deerfield, Illinois. Ann Erickson, his mother, came from a humble background; she was the daughter of a Swedish dairyman and worked as a nurse. Vincent Joseph Rauner, his father, was a lawyer.

With his brothers Christopher and Mark, as well as his sister Paula, he grew up. Their children grew up in a mixed culture because Ann was Swedish and Vincent was German.

He had a close relationship with his grandfather as a boy, who taught him things like fishing and hunting. He also instilled in him the importance of hard work and generosity.

He held a firearm for the first time at the age of ten. He also gained knowledge of the environment. He was really interested in environmental studies when he was in school.

To pay for his education, he worked odd jobs to supplement his income. He moved away from home to attend Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. He used to flip burgers and park vehicles for a living while pursuing his bachelor’s degree.

He wanted to be an environmental scientist when he graduated, but after taking an economics class, he realized that economics and business were real-life situations. He could fund environmental causes if he made enough money.
In 1978, he received his bachelor’s degree with honors from Dartmouth College. He and his classmates rented a home in Lincoln Park, where he slept on a rubber mattress because there was no furniture.
Before attending Harvard, he worked for a year at the Economic Forecasting Firm Data Resources in Chicago.

Taking Over the World of Business

He was thinking of turning his part-time employment at Bain & Company into a full-time career after finishing his master’s. Around the same time, he got a call from Stanley Golder, who invited him to join his new investment firm. Golder, together with his coworkers Thoma and Cressey, wanted to develop their business. He joined Golder during a period of economic expansion in the United States, and within three years he had become a partner in the firm.
Rauner hired new graduates from the best business schools, and Golder took a back seat, allowing Bruce to take the reins and renaming the firm Golder Thoma Cressey Rauner (GTCR).

During this time, he adopted Stanley Golder’s altruistic persona and regarded him as a father figure in his life.
Before retiring from GTCR in 2012, he elevated the organization to new heights, taking on the duty of value retirement investments for teachers and Illinois workers.

From politics to business

Bruce was not favored by ex-Republican Jim Edgar since he was a first-time nominee for Governor and a new face in politics. Nonetheless, on November 4, 2014, he won the general elections.

He ran for office and chose Evelyn Sanguinetti, a member of the City Council, as his running companion. His message was to simplify government, improve the economic climate, and improve the educational system.
He campaigned on topics such as the minimum wage, tax policy, transportation and infrastructure, union regressive power, abortion, and voting.

However, he purposefully spoke about concerns in general rather than providing particular specifics and remedies, as this could have alienated voters from both parties.

Managing the Illinois

On the 9th of February, 2015, as Governor, he blocked “Fair Share” union fees. He suggested a four-billion-dollar budget cut later that month, affecting medical aid, higher education, pensions, and public transportation.

He announced the suspension of the Illiana Tollway project, which had been contested for some time, due to a lack of resources.

He also vetoed the state budget in June 2015, demanding that trade union authority be decreased and property taxes be frozen. However, this could result in a 25-billion-dollar backlog in the future.

In June of 2016, he signed a temporary interim budget due to political uncertainty. Despite the fact that it only covered 65 percent of social services. He also confirmed that he will run for Governor in the 2018 general elections for a second term.

Major Projects of Bruce Rauner

He has aided and supported programs such as the Red Cross regional headquarters in Chicago, new charter schools, scholarships for poor public school kids, and remuneration for Chicago Public School teachers and principals.
He helped build the ‘Rauner Special Collections Library’ at Dartmouth College and gave the most money to the

University of Illinois’ Stanley Golder Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Finance.
He has kept his pledge and has donated money to protect the environment, as well as serving on the board of the ‘National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.’

Achievements & Awards

In 2003, he was awarded the Daley Medal by the Illinois Venture Capital Association for his contributions to the state’s economy.

He received the ‘Corporate Growth’s Lifetime Achievement Award’ as well. In 2011, he and his wife were nominated for the Golden Apple Foundation’s ‘Community Service Award.’

Personal History and Legacy

In 1980, he married Elizabeth Konker Wessel. However, the couple split up in 1990, and their divorce was formalized in 1993. From this marriage, he has three children.

Bruce is said to have had an affair with Diana Mendley while still married to his first wife, which resulted to their divorce. Bruce married Mendley in 1994, and the couple quickly produced three children: Margret, Matthew, and Katherine. Their family currently dwells in a Springfield mansion.

Estimated Net Worth

Bruce Rauner has a net worth of $400 million as a businessman and politician in the United States. Bruce Rauner was born in February 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and his MBA from Harvard University. He became the 42nd Governor of Illinois in 2015, and he is a Republican.


He spent about 26 million dollars on commercials and periodicals during his campaign to get votes.