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William J. Kelly is a producer of Emmy award-winning TV, a media strategist, columnist, and entrepreneur. He is host of the Citizen Kelly Show on AM 1590 WCGO.

Kelly was born William Joseph Patrick Kelly on Chicago's South Side. William’s mother, Barbara Kelly (née Anderson), is a retired public schoolteacher. His father, William Francis Kelly, a Naval veteran, was the principal of Abbott Elementary School in Chicago. Kelly’s family emigrated to the U.S. from Sweden and Ireland. His great-grandparents were from County Mayo, Ireland.

A lifelong Chicagoan, Kelly graduated from Christ the King grammar school and Quigley Preparatory Seminary South. While at Quigley, Kelly was a regular contributor to the “Mass for Shut-Ins” TV program on WGN-TV.

A graduate of Loyola University, he studied at Loyola's Rome Center and traveled throughout Europe. While in Rome, he had the good fortune of meeting Saint John Paul II. He says meeting Saint John Paul II inspired him to a life of service. 

After graduation, Kelly became the Executive Director of Taxpayers United of Illinois, a taxpayer watchdog group. In 1994, he ran for Congress in the First Congressional District against Rep. Bobby Rush, the former Defense Minister of the Black Panther Party.  Kelly exposed the fact that the congressman owed $50,000 in back taxes and unpaid child support.

During that time, Kelly also launched RevDigital, an Emmy award-winning production company, The company has produced programs on FOX, Comcast Sportsnet, ION, and Tribune Networks to name a few.

In 2010, Kelly ran for Illinois Comptroller on a platform of “exposing insider deals” and making government “more transparent.” He came in second in a tough three-way primary battle against incumbent Judy Baar Topinka. 

Kelly questioned then-candidate Rahm Emanuel about his lack of Chicago residency in a sidewalk interview back in 2010. The incident went viral after a CBS reporter threatened to deck Kelly. Some say that Kelly lost his radio show on AM 560 WIND after he filed a legal challenge to Emanuel’s mayoral petitions based on residency. 

In 2014, he busted the campaign finance caps in the Chicago mayoral race, forcing Rahm Emanuel into a first-ever historic run-off election. 

In addition to producing award-winning TV, Kelly currently writes for Daily Caller, Huffington Post, Newsmax, and the American Spectator on the news, entertainment, and politics.


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