CHICAGO – April 29, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn proclaimed Sunday, April 29th “Jay Leno Day” Illinois in honor of the late-night comedian’s work on behalf of Omni Youth Services, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary working towards positive change in communities through counseling, mentoring, and substance abuse treatment for at-risk youth and their families. The text of the proclamation is below.
WHEREAS, James “Jay” Douglas Muir Leno was born in humble beginnings in New Rochelle, New York on April 28, 1950 to parents Catherine and Angelo; and,
WHEREAS, Jay Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts, the son of a Scottish immigrant mother and first-generation Italian American father; and,
WHEREAS, Jay Leno learned the value of hard work and overcame great adversity, going on to receive a bachelor’s degree in speech therapy from Emerson College in Boston, defying the expectations of his teacher and guidance counselor; and,
WHEREAS, Jay Leno began performing comedy in 1970 and was performing 300 nights a year by 1973; and,
WHEREAS, Jay Leno, after several minor roles in television and film, became a regular substitute for Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show” in 1987; and,
WHEREAS, Jay Leno eventually replaced Carson on “The Tonight Show” as host, upon Carson’s retirement in 1992; and,
WHEREAS, Jay Leno is the recipient of numerous awards, including an Emmy in 1995, a People’s Choice Award in 2006 and has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; and,
WHEREAS, in addition to comedy, Jay Leno is a published author, philanthropist and avid car collector; and,
WHEREAS, for the past forty years, Omni Youth Services has been dedicated to developing youth, strengthening families and serving communities through innovative programs and partnerships in the greater Chicago area; and,
WHEREAS, on April 28th, Jay Leno will appear in Chicago for a special performance to celebrate Omni Youth Services’ fortieth anniversary; and,
WHEREAS, Jay Leno is an extraordinary comedian, celebrated actor, philanthropist, author and husband; and,
THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim April 29, 2012 as JAY LENO DAY in Illinois, in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the global community through the arts, and thank him for his partnership with Omni Youth Services.