Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan was among the attendees Sunday at a memorial for Nelson Mandela hosted by a Chicago congressman.
The Republican ex-governor was released from prison earlier this year after serving more than five years in federal prison on corruption charges. His appearance was among his first in public since his release.
Ryan met Mandela on a trip to South Africa in 2000 while he was governor.
The event at the Beloved Community Christian Church, where U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush preaches, has also drawn members of the Nation of Islam. The service fell on the same day as the former South African leader's burial.
The event was billed as "the people's tribute" and a banner with Mandela's portrait hung above the pulpit.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.