WikiNow lets you discover the news you care about, follow the topics that matter to you and share your favourite stories with your friends.

© WikiNow

Roland Wallace Burris is an American politician who is a former United States Senator from the state of Illinois and a member of the Democratic Party.

Sen Roland Burris.jpg
United States Senator
from Illinois
In office
January 12, 2009 – November 29, 2010
Appointed by Rod Blagojevich
Preceded by Barack Obama
Succeeded by Mark Kirk
39th Illinois Attorney General
In office
January 14, 1991 – January 9, 1995
Governor Jim Edgar
Preceded by Neil Hartigan
Succeeded by Jim Ryan
3rd Illinois Comptroller
In office
January 8, 1979 – January 14, 1991
Governor James R. Thompson
Preceded by Michael Bakalis
Succeeded by Dawn Clark Netsch
Personal details
Born Roland Wallace Burris
(1937-08-03) August 3, 1937 (age 79)
Centralia, Illinois, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Berlean M. Burris
Children 2
Residence Chatham, Chicago, Illinois
Alma mater Howard University School of Law
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Profession Attorney, former financial executive

Roland Wallace Burris (born August 3, 1937) is an American politician who is a former United States Senator from the state of Illinois and a member of the Democratic Party.

In 1978, Burris was the first African-American elected to statewide office in Illinois, when he was elected Illinois Comptroller. He served in that office until his election as Illinois Attorney General in 1990. Since then, he has unsuccessfully run for office four more times.

Burris was appointed by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to replace President-elect Barack Obama as the junior senator from Illinois. The appointment was controversial, as the governor was already under investigation and there were rumors of him being paid for the appointment. Prior to Burris's appointment, Obama was the U.S. Senate's only African American member; Obama resigned his Senate seat after being elected President of the United States.