Robert Killian

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Person.png Robert Killian  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Robert Killian.jpg
BornSeptember 15, 1919
Hartford, Connecticut
Died2005-06-25 (Age 85)
Hartford, Connecticut
Alma materUnion College
US politician

Employment.png Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut

In office
January 8, 1975 - January 3, 1979

Employment.png Attorney General of Connecticut

In office
January 1967 - January 1975

Robert Killian was a US politician.

Early life and education

Killian was born in Hartford in 1919. He was a first lieutenant in the United States Army for four years during World War II, commanding an infantry company. He received four battle stars and a Purple Heart and took part in island campaigns at Kwajalein, Palau, Mindanao, and Okinawa.


After returning to the United States, Killian graduated from Union College with his Bachelor of Arts in 1942. He received his LL.B. from Hartford Law School on 1948. He was admitted to the bar in Connecticut in 1948 and joined his law school classmate Robert Krechevsky and Samuel Gould to found the Hartford law firm, Gould, Killian and Krechevsky (now Gould, Killian and Wynne).

He was the city of Hartford's assistant corporation counsel from 1951 to 1954. He became chairman of the Hartford Democratic Town Committee in 1963 and is credited with helping to get elected Hartford's first African American councilman and state Senator. His friendship with John "Boss" Bailey, the state Democratic Party chairman, resulted in his appointment in 1967 as state Attorney General; Governor John N. Dempsey chose Killian to fill the vacancy left by Harold M. Mulvey. He won election in his own right three years later, one of only two Democrats to survive a Republican sweep of statewide offices, including the governorship.

In 1974, Killian was elected the 101st Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut on the ticket headed by Governor Ella Grasso. Displeased with the way the governor was handling issues including the state's fiscal crisis as her re-election approached, Killian waged a bitter primary campaign against Grasso in 1978. He lost and was replaced on the ticket by William A. O'Neill, who later succeeded Grasso as governor in 1980 after her resignation shortly before her death from cancer.

Last years

Killian then spent a decade as chairman of the Hartford Civic Center and Coliseum Commission. He died in Hartford in 2005, aged 85, and is interred at Mount Saint Benedict Cemetery in Bloomfield, Connecticut.


A Quote by Robert Killian

Big Oil“I hate to say that big oil is bigger than the United States Government; but its favored treatment at the hands of our government certainly leads to that conclusion.”8 June 1973
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