Biographical / Historical
John Neal Erlenborn was born in Elmhurst, Ill. on February 8, 1927. After graduating from Immacualte Conception High School in Elmhurst he briefly attended University of Notre Dame before enlisting in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He eventually obtained a law degree from Loyola University Law School in Chicago in 1949. After law school, Erlenborn practiced at a private law firm, and also acted as the assistant State's attorney, both in DuPage County, Ill., between 1950-1952. In 1957, he began serving as a State Representative for the 36th District (Springfield, Ill.). Here Erlenborn participated as the Chairman of several committees, including the House Governmental Economy Committee, the Special Committee to Investigate Rent Gouging, the Illinois Economy Bloc, the Agriculture, Conservation, Insurance, Judicary, and Elections and Reapportionment Committees.
In 1965, Erlenborn was elected by the 14th District of Illinois to serve as GOP Representative in the 89th Congress. During his tenure in Congress, Erlenborn became known as "Mr. ERISA" for his consistent support of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which was passed in 1974 after six years of debate. In addition to his support of ERISA, Erlenborn was active on both the Committee, on Government Operations and the Committee on Education and Labor, taking stances that favored the interets of business and management. He opposed bills to increase the minimum wage, fought the creation of consumer protection agencies and the Department of Education, and attempted to strip the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of any enforcement authority.
Erlenborm did not run for re-election in 1984, but remained very active in political affairs, especially those involving commerce, labor, and pensions. He was 78 and living in Warrenton, Virginia at the time of his death in 2005.