Home Saturday, 23 September 2017
Chapter One (continued - pg 2)

A SOCIETY OF POWER

Chapter One (continued from front page) 

In 1948, you see, my father and Governor Greene went to New York to see Governor Thomas E. Dewey and Dewey's campaign manager, Herbert Brownell, about the forthcoming presidential election. Having been defeated in 1944 by the incumbent wartime president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dewey thought he had a good chance in 1948 against Harry S. Truman. But first he had to win the Republican nomination from the conservative Senator from Ohio, Robert A. Taft.

A Northeastern liberal, Dewey wanted to balance his ticket by picking a governor from a conservative Midwestern state to run for Vice President. Dwight H. Greene was the perfect choice for Dewey's running mate because Illinois was a conservative state at that time.

So my father and Governor Greene agreed with Dewey and Brownell that Greene would run for the basically powerless post of Vice President so long as Dewey appointed my father, William Parrillo, Attorney General after he was elected.

My father and Governor Greene then rode back to Chicago on the train, and they were met at the station by Illinois State Police Chief Leo Carr who ordered them to report immediately to CHICAGO TRIBUNE publisher Robert R. McCormick. A veteran of World War I, Colonel McCormick regarded himself as the keeper of the conservative cause in Illinois, so they went right to his office in the Tribune Tower at 435 N. Michigan Avenue and were met with a tirade. McCormick ranted and raved that he would ruin Greene and anyone else who dared to support Dewey over Taft.

Greene caved in to Colonel McCormick and, instead of sharing the ticket with Tom Dewey, he agreed to run for a third term as Governor of Illinois.

McCormick assured Governor Greene and my father that the Republicans would take all offices in 1948. It was their year. The nation was tired of the liberal Democrats and their big spending.

So naturally McCormick wanted Taft on the Republican ticket for President in 1948, but he backed Dewey when he got the nomination, and he was so sure of a Republican landslide in November that he had the TRIBUNE print that famous headline: DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN! The victorious Harry S. Truman gladly posed with the CHICAGO TRIBUNE's incorrect front page for the photographers.

So even if Dwight Greene had been on the ticket with Dewey in 1948, my father still would not have become Attorney General, because Truman proved more popular than Robert R. McCormick had thought.

But the nation was ready for a change of parties in 1952 when voters elected Republican war hero, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States. And whom should Eisenhower appoint to be Attorney General but Dewey's campaign manager, Herbert Brownell.

My father would have been a far better Attorney General, but he was much, much more than all of that.

William Parrillo was my mentor and hero and the love of my life, and he left us all too soon and too suddenly on January 26, 1952 when he died in my arms of a heart attack. He was only 48, and I was 21, and I can barely make it through the anniversary of his death every year.

You don't want to be with me that day, because my father was everything to me, and I miss him still.

And I would be remiss if I did not dedicate this book to him and all that he stood for and accomplished as the son of parents who immigrated from Italy.

That same son of immigrants was seen on the front pages of newspapers when a technicality made it possible for his famous client, Al Capone, to be released early from the federal penitentiary after serving five years of an 11-year sentence for income tax evasion.

My father was quoted as saying he and his partner, Joseph Roach, "would go to work on the new angle" in the case, and that might be all you remember of my father.

But let me tell you who he was and what he accomplished, because he was my rock and my refuge, and his story is the fitting foundation for this book.

My father, you see, was graduated from Kent College of Law in Chicago at the age of 23 which was quite an accomplishment for a young Italian kid from Taylor Street. Dad went on to become the youngest Assistant United States District Attorney in the history of the Northeastern District of Illinois.

That was my father, and it was my father, the political powerhouse, who made Dwight H. Greene Governor of Illinois.

Allow me to explain:

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