CHARLES PERCY - UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS http://americanfraud.com/charlespercy.aspx
Charles H. Percy
Birthplace: Pensacola, FL
Religion: Christian Science
Party Affiliation: Republican
Executive summary: US Senator from Illinois, 1967-85
Military service: US Navy (1943-45)
Father: Edward Percy; Mother: Elizabeth Hartings
Wife1: Jeanne Dickerson (m. 1941, d. 1947); Wife2: Loraine Guyer (m. 1950)
Daughter: Valerie (twin, b. 1944, d. 18-Sep-1966, murder); Daughter: Sharon Percy Rockefeller (twin, b. 1944); Son: Roger (b. 1946); Daughter: Gail (b. 1953); Son: Mark (b. 1955)
High School: New Trier High School, Winnetka, IL (1937)
University: University of Chicago (1941)
US Senator, Illinois 1967-85
Bell and Howell President and CEO, 1949-1963
Member of the Council on Foreign Relations
American Academy of Diplomacy
Kennedy Center Trustee Emeritus
Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity
Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity
Daughter: Sharon Percy Rockefeller
Executive summary: CEO of WETA Public Broadcasting
Father: Charles H. Percy (US Senator from Illinois); Mother: Jeanne Dickerson
Sister: Valerie (her twin, d. 18-Sep-1966 murder)
Husband: Jay Rockefeller (US Senator, m. 1967, three sons, one daughter)
University: BA, Stanford University
Administrator: Trustee, National Cathedral School, Washington, DC
Administrator: Trustee, University of Chicago (past)
Administrator: Trustee, Stanford University (past)
Administrator: Trustee, George Washington University (past)
Administrator: Trustee, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
WETA President & CEO (1989-)
Member of the Board of Pepsi (1986-)
Member of the Board of PBS
Member of the Board of Sotheby's
Member of the Board of WETA (1973-89, as Chairman 1985-89)
American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Trustee
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Federal City Council Trustee
New Leadership for America PAC
Museum of Modern Art Trustee
Phillips Collection Trustee
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Smithsonian Institution Trustee, Smithsonian Associates
US National Gallery of Art Trustee
Rockefeller Family by marriage
Jay Rockefeller - Son-in-law of Charles Percy
AKA John Davison Rockefeller IV
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Father: John D. Rockefeller III; Mother: Blanchette F. Hooker; Rockefeller Family
High School: Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH (1954)
University: International Christian University, Tokyo (three years of Japanese)
University: BA Far Eastern Languages and History, Harvard University (1961)
Member of the Trilateral Commission
Member of the Council on Foreign Relations
Alfalfa Club President, 1997-99
Governor of West Virginia 1977-85
US Senator, West Virginia 1985-
Alliance for Health Reform Board of Directors
Close Up Foundation Board of Advisors
New Leadership for America PAC
Official Website: http://rockefeller.senate.gov/
Charles H. Percy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Charles Harting "Chuck" Percy (born September 27, 1919) was chairman of the Bell & Howell Corporation from 1949 to 1964 and United States Senator from Illinois from 1967 to 1985. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Bell & Howell
Percy was born in Pensacola, Florida, the son of Edward H. Percy and Elizabeth (nee Harting) Percy. His father, a native of Alabama, was an automobile salesman and his mother, born in Illinois, was a musician. The family moved to Chicago when he was an infant. As a child, he was notable for his entrepreneurial energy, and often held several jobs at once while also attending school. In the mid-1930s, his pluck brought him to the attention of his Sunday school teacher, Joseph McNabb, the president of Bell & Howell, which was then a small camera company.
Percy completed high school at New Trier High School. After Percy graduated from the University of Chicago(where he was a member of Alpha Delta Phi) in 1941, he went to work full time for Bell & Howell, and within a year he was made a director of the company. Percy served three years in the United States Navy during World War II, and returned to the company in 1945.
During the war, Percy married Jeanne Dickerson, who died in 1947. Percy, with three children to care for, remarried three years later, to Loraine Guyer.
After Joseph McNabb died in 1949, Percy was made the president of Bell & Howell. During Percy's presidency, company sales grew 32-fold, employment grew 12-fold, and the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange.
In the late 1950s, Percy decided to enter politics. With the encouragement of then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Percy helped write Decisions for a Better America, which proposed a set of long-range goals for the Republican Party. Percy was then made the chair of the platform committee at the 1960 Republican National Convention. He was considered one of the more liberal Republicans.
Percy's first foray into electoral politics was a run for governor of Illinois in 1964, which Percy narrowly lost to Democratic incumbent Otto Kerner. During his gubernatorial campaign, Percy reluctantly endorsed Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater, his future Senate colleague, who fared poorly in Illinois.
Member of U.S. Senate
In 1966, Percy's second attempt, a run for senator from Illinois, succeeded when he upset incumbent Democratic senator Paul Douglas (a former professor of Percy's at the University of Chicago) with 56% of the vote. During that campaign, Percy's daughter Valerie was murdered at the family home in mysterious circumstances, apparently by an intruder, and campaigning was suspended for two weeks. Valerie Percy's murder has never been solved, despite a long investigation.  The incident caused CBS to postpone, and eventually cancel, an airing of the Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho.
In 1967 Senator Percy introduced a bill which would establish a program to stimulate production of low-cost housing. Percy's proposal was the first of its kind to provide home ownership to low-income families, and it received strong support from Republicans in both the House and the Senate. When the senator was asked why he selected housing as the object of his first major legislative proposal, he said the following, "Of all the problems I ran across during three years of campaigning, first for the governorship and then for the Senate, the most appalling in their consequences for the future seemed to be the problems of the declining areas of the city and countryside, the inadequacy of housing."
In 1978, as Percy was completing his second term, he appeared undefeatable. Percy was considered so strong that the Democratic party was unable to entice any serious candidates to challenge Percy. Emerging from the Democratic primary was the truly dark horse candidate, Alex Seith, who had never before sought elected office. The highlight of Seith's political experience was serving on the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals for twelve years, nine of those years as chairman. However, Percy's reputation as a Rockefeller Republican, contrasted with Seith's ostensible hard-line foreign policy positions, combined to make Percy suddenly vulnerable in the weeks before the election. Sensing his improbable loss, Percy went on television only days before the polling, and with tear-filled eyes pleaded with Illinoisians to give him another chance. He said, "I got your message and you're right . . . I'm sure that I've made my share of mistakes, but your priorities are mine." He won re-election by a 54% to 46% margin.
Percy served in the Senate until 1984, when he was narrowly defeated for re-election by the liberal Congressman Paul Simon.
While in the Senate, Percy was active in the areas of business and international affairs. He was in the moderate wing of the Republican Party, and explored the possibility of running for President in 1968 and 1976, but dropped out both times, supporting the unsuccessful attempt of Nelson Rockefeller to gain the Republican nomination in 1968, and the successful attempt of President Gerald Ford to obtain the Republican nomination in 1976. During the early 1970s he clashed with President Richard Nixon and criticized the U.S. conduct of the war in Vietnam.
Perhaps Percy's most important act, and his longest-lasting legacy, was his elimination of the corrupt, or at least corrupting, practice of nominating federal judges from the Chicago political machine. Instead, he implemented a system of consultation with and advice from several groups. One of his nominees, John Paul Stevens, went on to serve on the United States Supreme Court. See here a contemporary news article describing Percy's system, novel at the time.
Percy's daughter Sharon, Valerie's twin sister, is the wife of Democratic United States Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia.
Charles Percy has three other children — Roger (born 1947), Gail (born 1953), and Mark (born 1955). Sharon, Valerie, and Roger were born to Percy's first wife (Jeanne), and Gail and Mark were born to his second wife (Loraine).
Percy is a Christian Scientist.
Police Search in Vain for Clues in Mystery Killing
KENILWOHTH, III. (AP) Kenilworlh's police chief said today all indications were that the slayer of Valerie Percy had broken into her home for no reason but "to harm a member of the family."
"Whether Valerie, 21, a twin, was the intended victim," Chief Robert M. Daley said, he did not know. "She simply may have been the first person the killer found," he said.
The daughter of Charles H. Percy, 47, onetime boy wonder of business and now Republican nominee for U.S. senator, was beaten and stabbed to death in her bed early Sunday morning while the Percys and two other children slept nearby.
The sleeping children included Valerie's twin, Sharon, and another sister, Gail, 13. The Percys' two boys were away. "All indications apparently are that the intruder went in to harm a member of the family, but I don't know which one," Daley said. Asked whether the killing might have been carried out by a burglar who had been discovered, Daley said, "as of this moment we know of nothing that was taken."
He said no accumulation of valuables, such as jewelry, was in the rambling Percy mansion overlooking Lake Michigan in this fashionable North Shore suburb of Chicago.
Percy's wife, Loraine, discovered the killing after hearing moans and going to Valerie's room to investigate. Tlie Percys' bedroom door was closed. Asked how the mother could have heard sounds with the door closed, Daley said that in the quiet of the nighl she would have heard them.
The search for clues thus far has yielded some scissors, a knife and an old moccasin. Daley said he placed no significance
on these items. The investigation, he said, was being handled by a team of four men from the Cook County state's attorney's office three agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and detectives from the Chicago Police Homicide Division and Crime Laboratory.
The FBI's status in the hunt is that of a cooperating agency, agents said. As yet there is no indication of any violation ot a
federal law which would give the FBI jurisdiction. Daley said all friends and acquaintances of the Percys, social, political and business, were being questioned in the hope of running across some lead to the killer. All phone calls to the police were being checked exhaustively.
U.S. Sen. Paul Douglas, Democrat, abruptly interupted his campaign for re-election in November and offered the Percys his condolences.
Police spent Sunday searching the 17-room home and grounds but turned up nothing significant. Question of family members, servants and friends also was unproductive. But Chicago police crime laboratory technicians are studying fingerprints, bed clothing, floor-sweepings and other physical evidence collected from the Percy home.
Inside, police were busy piecingtogether this story: The intruder approached the Percy home, situated on the, shore of Lake Michigan, apparently shortly before 5 a.m. Footprints in the sand indicate he may have come by way of the beach.
Using a sharp instrument he cut an opening in the locked! screen door, opened it. then cut a slice out of a glass panel of the inside door, unlocked it and entered the house.
The Percy family slept and a Labrador retriever in an attached garage did not bark. The intruder crept up a staircase. At the top landing were three doors. He chose Valerie's -whether accidentally or by design is not known."
Percy and his second wife, Loraine, the victim's stepmother, were sleeping in a bedroom about 35 feet from Valerie's. Mrs. Percy told police she was awakened by a moan. She got out of bed and walked into the hall, unaware that Valerie was dying of a crushed skull and more than a dozen stab wounds in her head, throat, chest and stomach. She was unaware, too, that the killer was still in the girl's bedroom.
As Mrs. Percy entered Valerie's bedroom she was blinded by a flashlight beam. She ran from the room screaming and pushed a burglar alarm button, awakening her husband.
Percy telephoned police, then went to Valerie's room. The killer had fled, apparently by the same route he had entered the house. Mrs. Percy telephoned a neighbor, Dr. Robert P. Hohf. Valerie was dead when he arrived.
Mrs. Percy was unable to describe the killer or even say whether it was a man or woman. No one has reported seeing anyone come or go, although two neighbors said they heard car tires squeal about the time the murderer fled. A pair of scissors and a shoe was found in the neighborhood, but they were not immediately linked to the case.
The rest of the story is full of questions. Dr. Andrew Toman, coroner of Cook County, said marks on Valerie's body indicated she struggled with the killer. But no sound was heard other than the moan.
Toman also said the "attacker obviously came into the house to murder someone." But Police Chief Daley was unwilling to commit himself to this theory or to one that the crime had started out as a burglary. While Toman said the murder was planned, no one came up with a motive. Daley said there was no indication of anyone having "hard feelings toward Valerie."
Valerie, a June graduate of Cornell University, had been working in her father's campaign. Police said they would question persons she had contacted during the political work. Percy's campaign manager Scott Cohen, said Percy is still in the race for senator but that campaigning will be suspended.
Sen. Douglas, telegraphing his condolences, said he too was calling off his campaign. Douglas's message was one of a thousand or more telegrams and telephone calls offering sympathy.
Percy's political career includes an unsuccessful try for the governorship of Illinois in 1964. He was chairman of the 1960 GOP National Committee Platform. He resigned as chairman of Bell & Howell Co when he ran for governor. He had become president and chief executive officer of the firm in 1949 at the age of 23.
Valerie, her twin Sharon, and their brother, Roger,19, were children of Percy's first marriage to Jeanne Dickerson who died in 1947.
Two other children, Gail, 13, and Mark, 11, were born during his second marriage.
The slaying shocked residents of Kenilworth, a community of fewer than 3,000. Neighbors, classmates and friends spoke of Valerie in glowing terms. "She was loved and admired by evervone in the community," said a neighbor, Mrs. Nelson D. Stoker.
Valerie Percy Murder
By David Krajicek
In the predawn hush of a September Sunday in 1966, someone broke into a mansion on Lake Michigan outside Chicago, crept upstairs to a bedroom, and stabbed and bludgeoned a bright, pretty young woman named Valerie Jeanne Percy to death.
Percy was struck on the head and stabbed more than a dozen times. Her nightgown had been pulled up, exposing her nude torso.
Nothing was missing from the house. Jewelry and a wallet on the woman's dresser lay undisturbed, and the killer seemed to have navigated through the 17-room Tudor villa directly to the victim's bedroom.
Dr. Edward Kelliher, a crime psychiatrist in Chicago, told reporters, "The facts so far revealed indicate that the murderer knew Valerie and that he went to her home for the purpose of murdering her." He said the vicious nature of the slaying showed "the murderer wanted to attack her personally."
Everyone expected a rapid resolution to the homicide, given Valerie Percy's pedigree. She was the daughter of Charles Percy, and murder is not supposed to foul the lives of families of such stature. Chuck Percy, as everyone knew him, was a self-made Mr. America. The wunderkind businessman had been a millionaire CEO before age 30, a protégé of a president by 35, a United States senator at 47. Many believed he was destined for the White House.
Senator Chuck Percy
Smart and famously hardworking, Percy had leading-man looks and a hail-fellow manner that could disarm even the most cynical curmudgeon.
He lived on a three-acre lakeside estate in Kenilworth, Ill., Chicago's safest and most exclusive suburb, with his lovely wife and five well-mannered children—twins Valerie and Sharon, 21; Roger, 19; Gail, 13, and Mark, 11.
Percy estate, overhead view
Kenilworth cops were accustomed to burglaries, not murders. The tiny, mile-square city had not registered a single slaying in the 75 years since it was founded by Chicago retail magnate Joseph Sears.
And although Valerie Percy was one of 11,040 homicide victims in the United States in 1966, the investigation of her killing was different from the rest.
No Ordinary Investigation
Richard Nixon attended Valerie's funeral, and J. Edgar Hoover took a personal interest in bringing the murderer to justice. A battalion of federal, state and city investigators were assigned to help the Kenilworth police solve the case.
Kenilworth Police sign
Detectives looked for spurned lovers, jealous boyfriends, or resentful romantic third wheels. They found none. Immediate family members were questioned and judged to be beyond suspicion. The family's two servants, Frederick Millington and Henry Witting, were scrutinized but cleared.
Detectives pored over clues from other break-ins in wealthy Chicago suburbs, and city cops leaned hard on Chicago mobsters and housebreaking crews for leads. The FBI looked into Charles Percy's political opponents and business relationships. Friends and acquaintances were interrogated as well.
Law enforcers chased thousands of tips. Ultimately, it was all to no avail. No charges were brought.
Thirty-eight years later, the homicide that True Detective magazine once dubbed "America's No. 1 Murder Mystery" is still unsolved.
Today, the crime is also largely forgotten, mentioned in the Chicago newspapers only on the obit page when a crime reporter or cop who worked on the case dies.
Recently, comeuppance for Valerie Percy's killer has been advocated by an active Internet discussion group led by a police lieutenant from Maryville, Tenn. Group members have collected a vast archive of material about the crime, including newspaper clips, biographies and witness lists.
One participant, Peggy Lakin, 51, a writer from Pennsylvania, told Crime Library she is motivated by a sense that justice has not been done.
"I do believe it's important for those who commit violent crimes to realize that there are people who will not let it go, and they will never truly be free," Lakin said.
Two other participants in the group are relatives of Fred Malchow, a dead career criminal from Buffalo who was long ago accused in the Percy murder but was never officially named by law enforcers as the perpetrator.
The man's relatives, including his brother and a son, spoke out about the case for the first time, telling Crime Library they would like to see justice for Valerie Percy—and for Fred Malchow.
A Brief Life
Valerie Percy and her twin, Sharon, graduated from Joseph Sears Grade School in Kenilworth in 1958. While still in elementary school, they decided to establish their own identities. They stopped dressing alike and took separate bedrooms.
New Trier High School
The twins attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, an adjacent Chicago suburb. Each spent her junior year studying abroad in Europe, but Valerie went to Paris and Sharon to Switzerland. They graduated high school together in 1962.
The sisters went separate ways for college. Sharon headed to Stamford University, on the West Coast, while Valerie enrolled at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
Cornell University campus
Both were good students, and the attractive young women had active social lives. There are no indications that either girl was rebellious. "Sweet" is the adjective that friends and family often used to describe Valerie.
Valerie returned home soon after college graduation in the late spring of 1966 to help in their father's campaign for a United States Senate seat. Sharon went to Central African Republic for the summer to teach English, then joined her family just before Labor Day.
Sharon Percy, Valerie's sister
By then, Sharon was in love with Jay Rockefeller, scion of the wealthy family of American industrialists and politicians. Valerie was unattached, although she had plenty of admirers.
On the last night of her life, Valerie dined at home with her stepmother and two young friends and campaign workers, James Mann and Tully Friedman. She was in her bedroom by 10 p.m.
Sharon had borrowed a raincoat from Valerie for a date that Saturday night. She got home at about 11:30 and popped in on her sister to return the coat. Valerie was watching TV in bed. The sisters said goodnight for the last time, and Sharon retired to her own room.
Loraine Percy stirred in bed at the sound of glass breaking at about 4:50 a.m. on Sunday, September 18, 1966. Half-awake, she considered the noise and decided that one of the Percy children had accidentally knocked a water glass off a nightstand. Ten minutes later, she was awakened again, this time by a baleful moan.
She got up and followed the sound down the hallway that connected the master bedroom with a row of three children's rooms perhaps 25 paces away. She paused at Sharon's door but realized the sound was coming from Valerie's room.
She went there, opened the door and was startled to see a man standing over Valerie's bed and shining a flashlight on her body, which was painted with wet blood from the top of her head to below her navel.
The intruder shone his light in Mrs. Percy's face, which limited her ability to describe him in detail. (She would later say he was a white man on the short side, roughly 5'8" and 160 pounds. He had dark hair and wore a checkered shirt.)
Sketch of suspect
Loraine Percy turned and ran back toward her bedroom, pausing to push a button that activated a siren-style burglar alarm outside the house. The burglar apparently followed her out of the room. He retraced his path through the house: down a circular staircase, through a hallway into the music room, and then out a french door onto the patio.
Loraine's screams awoke her husband, and the couple rushed back to Valerie's side. They sensed a faint pulse. Percy rushed to a phone and called the police emergency number.
Next door, medical doctor Robert Hohf and his wife, Nydia, were awakened by the shrill burglar alarm. Mrs. Hohf ran to the backyard to look for intruders but saw nothing.
Moments later, the couple's phone rang; it was Chuck Percy, urgently asking for the doctor to come help Valerie. Hohf pulled trousers over his pajamas and hurried to Valerie's room.
It was no use. Hohf walked downstairs, where the family had gathered in the living room. (Son Roger was away at college, and son Mark was sleeping over at a friend's house.) The doctor informed the Percys that Valerie was gone.
Later, Hohf would marvel at the family's composure in the face of such horror.
"They were marvelously controlled," he said. "They accepted. Then they tried to organize themselves for doing the many things that must be done. They withheld their great grief. They did not, through that long day, impose their grief on others."
An autopsy showed that Valerie had been bludgeoned up to four times on the head with a ball peen hammer, a fireplace poker or a similar instrument with a conical or triangular head. She was stabbed as many as 14 times in the neck, chest and abdomen.
Her hands, knees and left foot bore signs of defensive wounds. She had died fighting.
Evidence showed the killer got in by cutting a screen, then scoring a door pane with a glasscutter—the crash that awakened Loraine Percy.
Cops scoured the property and came up with a number of potential clues: a moccasin, a glove, a bayonet, a pocket watch, a scissors blade and a rusty knife, although none of the objects was ever determined without doubt to have been left by the killer.
Likewise, police found bare footprints of nebulous origin on the beach. Investigators told reporters that they found a good-quality fingerprint on the broken glass, palm and fingerprints on Valerie's door and a stairway railing, and hair and fibers of indeterminate origin in her room.
In adherence to Illinois law, a coroner's inquiry was mounted to establish the cause of death. The inquiry seemed like cruel overkill given the results of the autopsy.
The Percy family
The Percy family had flown to California and gone into seclusion for nearly two weeks after the slaying. Friends said the family read religious tracts and took long walks together to salve their grief.
"Freshness and Sweetness"
The family dutifully returned to tell the coroner's jury of six men what they knew.
Sharon Percy repeated the story of returning the raincoat.
Stifling sobs, Loraine Percy, the only eyewitness, whispered that she "froze" when she found the man standing over Valerie's mortally wounded body. She also repeated the details she had given police earlier, including the vague description.
Chuck Percy testified that he arrived home just after midnight, following a campaign appearance. He said he and his wife watched TV for perhaps an hour, then retired.
He was awakened by his wife's "scream of terror." He said his first impulse was to think of Richard Speck, the drifter who just two months before had slain eight nurses in a Chicago townhouse. Percy thought that perhaps the killer was still in the house, and he was concerned about the well-being of his other children, which is why he called the police emergency number. He said he also called Chicago Police Superintendent Orlando Wilson.
Orlando Wilson, Chicago police official
Percy said he was at a loss to explain a motive for Valerie's murder.
"She was the embodiment of freshness and sweetness," Percy said. "I don't know of any enemy that she had."
The six men deliberated for half an hour before reaching the obvious conclusion: the death was a homicide. They urged authorities to "continue their diligent search until the person is apprehended."
Police tracked leads down any number of blind alleys—crank calls threatening Percy, rumors about the syndicate, false confessions and sundry publicity hounds and sickos.
But the leads gradually began to dry up, and cops assigned to the Percy task force were pulled off for more pressing matters.
As the 18-month anniversary of the homicide approached and no solid suspect had turned up, Ill. Gov. Otto Kerner called a press conference to announce that jurisdiction for the investigation was being taken from Kenilworth police and given to the state police.
Governor Otto Kerner
At the same time, Sen. Percy announced that he was putting up a personal reward of $50,000. And Kenilworth Police Chief Edward Eggert, perhaps feeling pressure to explain why there had been no resolution of the murder, gave a numerical accounting of the failed probe.
"We have checked out 1,153 leads," he said. "In all, we have personally talked to about 8,000 persons in 48 states and five foreign countries—France, India, England, Africa and Canada. We have taken 439 finger- and palmprints and given voluntary polygraph tests to 41 subjects. As long as leads continue to come in, we're going to check them. We haven't solved the case yet, but we're sure going to keep trying."
Over time, though, the state police Percy Homicide Detail, as it was called, was assigned lower and lower priority as fresh crimes cropped up. The squad dwindled to four men, then two, then one. The last full-time investigator, Robert Lamb from the Illinois State Police, eventually was asked to spend most of his time on other cases.
Two weeks after the murder, Chuck Percy announced that his family would get on with its life. He called a press conference together to say he would resume his Senate campaign.
"This is what I must do, and it is what my family wants me to do," he said. Six weeks later, he defeated incumbent Paul Douglas and moved his family to Washington. He sold the Kenilworth home, with its haunting memory.
Years later, he explained how he and his family had coped.
"We just didn't try to figure out why this happened," said Percy, a devoted Christian Scientist. "You just have to trust in the Lord and know you can adjust."
Percy went on to become a singular figure in the world of business and politics. He was a liberal-to-moderate Republican. During 20 years in Congress, he became a leader in international affairs as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Percy was born in 1919 in Pensacola, Fla., but raised and educated at public schools in Chicago and Winnetka.
Even as a boy, Percy had a knack for selling. At age 5, he got his first job as a magazine hawker. Two years later, he won a Chicago YMCA salesmanship award.
During high school in Winnetka, Percy earned more money than many of his classmates' parents by holding four jobs simultaneously. By the time he entered the University of Chicago, he had a net worth of $100,000, and his various business enterprises were grossing more than $150,000 a year.
Yet he yearned to follow in the footsteps of his father, an employee of Bell & Howell, the Chicago-based camera maker, so he took a summer job there, earning just $12 a week.
By the time he finished college, Bell & Howell had reserved a top-floor office for Percy. It was obvious he would be running the company one day—sooner rather than later. His graduation present was a directorship.
Percy married Jeanne Dickerson in 1941, and then put his career on hold to enlist in the Navy in 1943. His wife followed him to a posting in Alameda, CA, and in 1944 she gave birth in Oakland to twin daughters Sharon and Valerie. Percy was discharged as a lieutenant in 1945 and returned to Chicago, where Jeanne gave birth to their son, Roger, the following year.
Chuck Percy was raised in his mother's faith, First Church of Christ, Scientist, and he became an avid adherent.
Christian Scientists are known for eschewing medicine. Instead, they believe that healing comes from "God's infinite goodness, realized in prayer and action." The faith provides nurses to provide "spiritual reassurance and skillful, nonmedical physical care," including bathing, feeding and wound-dressing—but no "medical treatment."
After the births of her children, Jeanne Dickerson Percy developed an irritated bowel that was eventually diagnosed as ulcerative colitis. In 1947, Mrs. Percy, who was not a Christian Scientist, was urged by her doctor to undergo an operation to repair her damaged colon.
She apparently suffered a toxic reaction to drugs administered during the operation, and she died, leaving her husband with three toddlers.
Two years later, Percy met Loraine Guyer while on a ski vacation in Sun Valley, Idaho. They married in 1950. The couple would have two more children, Gail, born in 1953, and Mark, born in 1955.
Fresh out of the Navy, Percy was promoted to corporate secretary at Bell & Howell. And in 1947, the year that Jeanne died, he was named president and chief executive officer at age 29—in a gray-flannel era when experience, not youth, was prized.
Donald Bell and Albert Howell had founded the motion picture camera firm in 1907 in Chicago, then the nation's film capital. It had branched out into various optical and electronic equipment by the time Percy took charge, but within five years, he had transformed the 1,600-employee firm into a national corporate powerhouse with 10,000 employees and annual gross earnings of more than $160 million.
Employees and stockholders loved him, and many began to see political potential in the handsome Republican. His admirers came to include President Dwight Eisenhower, who became Percy's mentor and helped to guide him into politics.
Percy was appointed as Eisenhower's special ambassador to presidential inaugurations in Peru and Bolivia in 1956. With the president's encouragement, he served as chairman of the Republican Platform Committee in 1960.
He made his first run at office in 1964, challenging Democratic incumbent Otto Kerner for Illinois governor in 1964. He lost, but mounted a successful campaign for the Senate two years later -- the campaign during which his daughter was murdered.