SPRINGFIELD (AP) – Gene Callahan has died. He was a former newspaper reporter and longtime aide to top Democratic elected officials, including the late U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon.
His daughter, U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, said in a Monday statement that he died overnight at his Springfield home. Further details on his death weren’t released. Callahan was 80.
He worked for a Springfield newspaper before serving as press secretary for several elected officials, including former U.S. Sen Paul Simon while he was lieutenant governor.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin called Callahan a “trusted friend” in a Monday statement. He says he never made an important decision in politics without calling Callahan.
Callahan also worked as a lobbyist for Major League Baseball.
Bustos says an event to celebrate Callahan’s life is planned in Springfield on Friday.