SOURCE: First Midwest Bancorp, Inc.

September 15, 2008 08:00 ET

First Midwest Bancorp, Inc. Announces the Death of John M. O'Meara

ITASCA, IL--(Marketwire - September 15, 2008) - First Midwest Bancorp, Inc. (the "Company" or "First Midwest") (NASDAQ: FMBI), the holding company of First Midwest Bank announced today with great regret the unexpected death of its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John M. O'Meara on Saturday, September 13, 2008. He was 62 years old.

"John was a stalwart in Chicago banking for over 35 years. He led with vision, principle, empathy and determination, and built First Midwest into one of the top performing regional banks in the nation," said Steve Vanderwoude, Chairman of the Company's Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee on behalf of the Company's Board of Directors. "He embodied the spirit of personal commitment to meeting the needs of the people and communities around us, which is the foundation of First Midwest."

John O'Meara was elected the Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in May of 2007 after serving as its President and Chief Executive Officer since January of 2003. He also served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First Midwest Bank from 1995 until his death. Mr. O'Meara served in various other capacities with First Midwest Bank in his 38 years of service to the Bank and its predecessors and as a director of the Company since its formation in 1983.

The Company's Board has elected Michael L. Scudder its President and Chief Executive Officer, and has appointed him a member of its Board. Mr. Scudder, age 48, was elected the Company's President and Chief Operating Officer in May of 2007 after serving as its Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer since 2002. Mr. Scudder has served in various other executive management capacities with First Midwest Bank in his 22 years of service to the Company.

The Company's Board of Directors also has elected Robert P. O'Meara as its Chairman. Mr. O'Meara, age 70, served as the Company's Chairman from 1987 until May 2007, and as its Vice Chairman since May of 2007. He also served as the Company's Chief Executive Officer from 1987 to December 2002, and its Chief Operating Officer from 1983 to 1987.

Thomas J. Schwartz was named the President and Chief Executive Officer of First Midwest Bank and was appointed a member of the Company's Board. Mr. Schwartz, age 59, has served as President and Chief Operating Officer of First Midwest Bank since May of 2007 after serving as its Group President, Commercial Banking since 2000. Mr. Schwartz has served in various other executive management capacities with First Midwest Bank and its predecessors in his over 35 years of service to the Company.

These actions were taken by the Company's Board of Directors at a meeting on September 14, 2008, in accordance with the Company's long-standing succession plan.

About the Company:

First Midwest is the premier relationship-based banking franchise in the growing Chicagoland banking market. As one of the Chicago metropolitan area's largest independent bank holding companies, First Midwest provides the full range of both business and retail banking and trust and investment management services through 101 offices located in 63 communities, primarily in metropolitan Chicago. First Midwest was recently recognized by the Alfred P. Sloan awards for Business Excellence in Workforce Flexibility in the greater Chicago Area.

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