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Biographical Information
Richard L. Samuels


Birth Date - August 13, 1926, Chicago, Illinois

Judge Richard L. Samuels was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 13, 1926. He attended the University of Chicago Lab School, received his B.A. in 1944 and his J.D. in 1950, both from the University of Chicago. He was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1950 and later to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He served as a radio technician third class in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946 and received an Honorable Discharge for his action in the Pacific Theater of Operations.

In 1949 he married Jan and they had two children, Richard and Leah. An amicable divorce was awarded to them in 1953 and she survives him. In 1957 he married Mary and had three children, John, Mary, and Albert. After her death in 1995, he married in 1996 attorney NoŽl E. Johnson who survives him.

From 1950 to 1957 Judge Samuels was in private practice with his father, Leo Samuels, now deceased, and Arthur Samuels, his uncle, now in the Stateís Attorney Office of Cook County, Illinois.

He served as an Assistant Cook County Stateís Attorney from 1957 to 1961. After returning to private practice again until 1965, he then joined the staff of the American Bar Association where he was active in participating in reforming traffic laws throughout the U.S. In 1968 as a Magistrate in our Circuit Court he assisted Supervising Judge Raymond Berg in preparing the Traffic Regulation Book, which reorganized the operation and the schedule of the Cook County Traffic Courts. He then served in many branches of the First District of Circuit Court. After his election to a full judgeship in 1976, he was assigned to the Sixth District where he remained until his death and heard civil, misdemeanor, and many, many felony cases. He had temporarily retired in 1990 due to illness in his family, but was recalled to the bench within a year or so.

Judge Samuels taught law courses at the Extension Division of the University of Illinois and South Suburban Community College. Since 1965 he had been an instructor of the National Judicial College.

He was the co-author of Illinois Civil Trial Guide (Matthew Bender, 1991), which he continued to update annually until his death on April 14, 2001.

In his adult life Judge Samuels visited many European countries and very recently also Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, and Greenland.

Judge Samuels was a member of the Kentucky Colonels and the recipient of many awards from, among others, the Rotary Club, Lions Club, Secretary of State, and the South Suburban Bar Association. In June 2000 the Illinois State Bar Association awarded him the status of Senior Counselor for his fifty years as a member of the Illinois Bar.