IN MEMORY MARTY GLEASON – A TRUE DEMOCRATIC FORCE OF NATURE
On October 6, 2018, DuPage County lost a true Democratic Force of Nature. Marty Gleason was an active participant in Illinois Democratic politics for more than for more than five decades. He served as the Precinct Committeeman for Precinct 35 in Burr Ridge and an active volunteer for Bill Foster until his death.
Marty was a true pioneer for the Democratic Party in DuPage and Will Counties, serving on the delegation to the Democratic National Committee in 1964 and 1972. He also served as State Central Committeeman and actively supported the Senate campaigns for Adlai Stevenson, Paul Douglas, and Paul Simon. In addition to serving in these roles, Marty also ran for State Senate and for Congress.
In 1968, Marty served as the Deputy Floor Manager for Eugene McCarthy at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. A 2008 article in the Daily Herald reporting on his experience at this convention gives a glimpse into his role: “With convention experiences running the gamut from rubbing shoulders with celebrities Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward to bailing McCarthy volunteers out of jail at 1 in the morning, Gleason summed it up as ‘like rolling over Niagara Falls in a barrel.’” The 2003 book on the McCarthy campaign by Arthur Herzog, III quoted Marty recounting that Stephen A. Mitchell drafted him for the role because he had the reputation of being a “political alley fighter”.
Marty was at the forefront of many changes in the political landscape in DuPage and Will Counties, as well as the State of Illinois. He has always stepped forward to accept the challenges that needed his energy and experience, and always for the good of the cause.
We will miss this dynamic hero of local Democratic politics.