Illinois: True to Form

When Charles Harting Percy sets out to do something, he doesn't kid around. His skyrocket rise has become folklore in the business world: at 16, he was a clerk in Chicago's camera-making Bell & Howell Co.; at 23, a board member; at 29, president. In all this, of course, he had to have a bit of luck.

When Chuck Percy, now 44, announced last summer that he would seek the Republican nomination for Governor of Illinois, it was a safe bet that he would go after it furiously. He did. Hitting the campaign trail...