Norman V. Kelly


Norman V. Kelly a life-long Peorian, a graduate from Woodruff High School, class of 1950, and a Distinguished Alumni, 2006.  Norm graduated from Bradley University in 1958.  He was a member of the U.S.A.F. during the Korean War, 1951-1955. He was a medic in the United States Air Force where he reached the rank of S/SGT. Norm is a retired Private Investigator and Para-Legal, and still living in his beloved hometown of Peoria, Illinois.

Norm is a well-known radio personality having appeared on all of the local talk shows in Peoria as well as several TV shows.   He has written 12 books about the history of Peoria, Illinois, writing mostly about the bawdy, seedy and dangerous elements of Peoria’s long history, 1845 through 1950.

He has written close to 600 short stories, including mystery, true-crime, fiction and adventure pieces. His work includes a couple hundred pieces about Peoria History. He was a member of the prestigious Mystery Writers of America for many years.

Norm Kelly with Harry S Truman by Bruce Brown

Norm Kelly with Harry S Truman
by Bruce Brown

Mr. Kelly has been awarded the Landin Award from the Peoria Park District and two distinguished service awards from the Peoria and State Police Departments. Norm represented the United States as the U.S. Clue Champion in 1986 in a World competition in New York City.  The author wrote OFFICER DOWN, a book that chronicled the death of officers who died in the line of duty here in Peoria.   He has written stories of 5 other officers that had died in the line of duty but were never honored.  These men’s names are now on all three police memorials in Illinois and Washington, DC. He also found PFC Zimmerman who died of wounds suffered in Korea.  He is now on the local Korean Monument.

Norm has written hundreds of articles about Peoria and currently writes for NEWS and VIEWS and stories for The Times Observer, Art and Society, Journal Star, Illinois Business Issues and Downstate Story. He is featured in ADVENTURE OUTDOOR SPORTS magazine monthly and was featured in the first issue of the new magazine THE PEORIAN.  Norm was honored as a ‘Hero Of The Day’ at the Chief’s baseball game in Peoria in June of 2012. Norm was a member of a radio show that aired on WOAM, 1350 AM on Sundays 7-10 AM. And is a frequent guest on Breakfast with Roger and friends radio show on