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Richard L. Duchossois
Born (1921-10-07)October 7, 1921
Chicago, Illinois
Education Morgan Park Academy, Washington and Lee University
Occupation business executive with The Duchossois Group, Inc., Arlington Park, Churchill Downs
Board member of The Duchossois Group, Inc., TCMC, Inc., Thoroughbred Racing Association
Spouse(s) 1) Beverly Thrall
2) Judi
Children Craig J., Dayle, Bruce, Kim
Awards 2 Bronze Stars,
Purple Heart,
American Jockey Club Gold Medal,
Special Sovereign Award (1988),
Lord Derby Award,
Palmer Award for Meritorious Service to Racing
Eclipse Award of Merit (2003)
Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame

Richard L. "Dick" Duchossois (pronounced DUCH-ah-swah) (born October 7, 1921) is an American businessman and racehorse owner. He was the founder and Chairman of The Duchossois Group, Inc., a family-owned company headquartered in Elmhurst, Illinois that is known for its ownership stakes in Arlington Park and Churchill Downs race tracks, as well as for rail car and defense manufacturing.

Early life and education[]

Duchossois graduated from Morgan Park Military Academy and attended Washington and Lee University, before starting active military service during World War II.[1]

Military career[]

He served in five European campaigns, including Normandy where he was a commander with the 610th Tank Destroyer Battalion.[2][3] He served as the military governor for the region of Eichstätt and attained the rank of Major before he was released from active service in 1946.[3][4] He received a Purple Heart for his injuries in combat at the Moselle River.[3]


He married his high school sweetheart, Beverly Thrall.[2]

His son Craig J. Duchossois is Chief Executive Officer of The Duchossois Group, Inc. and serves as Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the United States Naval Academy.


Richard Duchossois joined Thrall Car Manufacturing Company after World War II and became CEO in 1952.[4] In 1980, the firm purchased Chamberlain Manufacturing Corp., with Duchossois becoming its Chairman. At the same time, he retained the chairmanship of the parent company, but appointed his son as CEO.

In 1983, as Chairman of renamed Duchossois Industries (DII), he purchased Arlington Park Race Track.[4] In 2000, Arlington Park merged with Churchill Downs Incorporated, where DII has several seats on the Board of Directors.[5]

He also owned Des Moines TV Station KDSM-TV (formerly KCBR-TV) from 1983 to 1991.

He serves as a director of TCMC, Inc., the Emirates World Series of Racing, and the Thoroughbred Racing Association.

Awards and honors[]

He received a Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars for his military service in World War II.[6][7]

His awards include the 1986 American Jockey Club's Gold Medal, the 1988 Special Sovereign Award from the Jockey Club of Canada, and Lord Derby Award from the Horserace Writers and Reporters Association of Great Britain, the Joe Palmer Award for Meritorious Service to Racing from the National Turf Writers Association, the 2003 Eclipse Award of Merit, and selection to the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame.

He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Washington and Lee. In 2015, Washington and Lee University honored him with the Washington Award.[6]

With his wife Judi in 2014, they received the Sword of Loyola award from Loyola University Chicago for their philanthropy.[6][8]

See also[]

  • Arlington Classic
  • Beverly D. Stakes
  • Eclipse Special Award
  • Pucker Up Stakes
  • Sussex Stakes


  1. "Richard L. Duchossois". 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Man Behind the Million". 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "World War II: Duchossois, Richard".,-Richard.aspx. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Arlington owner Duchossois, at 90, fights cancer and for his track
  5. 30 years after Arlington Park fire, Richard Duchossois is still at the track
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Washington and Lee Honors Richard L. Duchossois with Washington Award". 
  7. "Dick Duchossois Returns to Normandy to Honor D-Day's 70th Anniversary". DNAinfo Chicago. Archived from the original on 2015-12-07. 
  8. "Loyola to Honor Dick and Judi Duchossois and Mike My Lehoang, MD Nov. 22 at Stritch Annual Awards Dinner". 

External links[]

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