CHICAGO (CNN) -- Indiana Gov. Frank O'Bannon was undergoing surgery at a Chicago hospital after suffering a stroke Monday, a hospital spokeswoman said.
O'Bannon, 73, was unconscious and unresponsive when he was taken from the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in downtown Chicago to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said spokeswoman Kelly Sullivan.
Doctors determined that he had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, which is a form of stroke, she said.
O'Bannon had been at the hotel with Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan to attend the Midwest U.S.-Japan Conference, said Andrew Stoner, his deputy press secretary. The meeting of CEOs from more than 200 companies is held to foster trade and cooperation between U.S. and Japanese executives. It began Monday and is to end Tuesday.
"He was very healthy" and had no history of illness, Stoner said.
O'Bannon's wife, Judy, traveled to Chicago from their home in southern Indiana, Stoner said.
The two-term governor served from 1989 to 1996 as lieutenant governor under Evan Bayh after 18 years as a state senator from Corydon, representing all or part of eight southern Indiana counties, the biography on his Web site said.
He spent two years as Senate Finance chairman and 11 years as Democratic floor leader.
He and his family live in a rebuilt log barn in Harrison County.
O'Bannon, who was graduated from Corydon High School in 1948, received a bachelor's degree in government from Indiana University in 1952. He served two years in the Air Force and then returned to Bloomington, where he was awarded a law degree from IU in 1957.
O'Bannon then returned to Corydon with his wife, whom he met on a blind date, and started a law practice.
During his early years as a lawyer, O'Bannon also worked at the family-owned newspaper, The Corydon Democrat, shooting pictures, covering general news, writing sports stories and stuffing the paper's sections together. O'Bannon wrote the newspaper's editorial about President Kennedy's assassination.
He is currently chairman of O'Bannon Publishing Co., which publishes weekly newspapers in Harrison and Crawford counties.
The couple has three children -- Polly, Jennifer and Jonathan -- and five grandchildren -- Beau, Chelsea, Asher, Demi and Elle.
--CNN Producer Grace Ramirez contributed to this story.
"If this cruel, loudmouth extremist is the cream of the Democratic crop, next November's going to make the 1984 election look like a squeaker." --House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) on Howard Dean