A life of firsts for trailblazing Illinois Justice McMorrow, dead at the age of 83


Justice Mary Ann McMorrow. Photo
from Illinois Supreme Court.

A trailblazing Illinois Supreme Court justice, Mary Ann McMorrow, has died at the age of 83.

McMorrow died on Saturday after a brief illness, report the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. McMorrow was the first female justice on the Illinois Supreme Court and its first female chief justice. She retired from the court in 2006.

McMorrow was the only woman in her 1953 graduating law school class at Loyola University Chicago, yet she was elected class president. She worked at a law firm and as a prosecutor in Cook County, where she was the first woman to try felony cases. She went on to win election to the Cook County Circuit Court, the Illinois Appellate Court and the Illinois Supreme Court.

“When I went to law school, women couldn’t even dream of such a thing,” McMorrow said after winning election to the state high court in 2002. “I hope this would forever indicate that there’s nothing that limits women in any job or any profession.”

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