C. William O'Neill

Inducted: 2008

C. William O'Neill is the only person elected to the highest office in all three branches of Ohio government, having served as speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, governor and chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court.

O'Neill was born in Marietta, and in 1938 he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Marietta College. That same year he was elected as the youngest member in state history to the Ohio House of Representatives, where he served until 1950. In 1942, he graduated from the College of Law at The Ohio State University.

In 1950, O'Neill became the youngest person to serve as Ohio's Attorney General. In 1957, he became governor of Ohio and was instrumental in establishing the interstate highway system in the state. He was elected to the Ohio Supreme Court in 1960 and served as chief justice from 1970 until his death in 1978. During his tenure as chief justice, he presided over implementation of the modern courts amendment to the Ohio Constitution.

Throughout his life in public service, he remained active in programs and politics including the Buckeye Boys State and Buckeye Girls State programs and the new Youth in Government programs. A life long supporter of The Ohio State University, he also served a term as president of the Ohio State University Alumni Association.