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Earl Neal

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Information about Earl Neal

Profile image of Earl Neal

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Trial Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Kiawah, South Carolina
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
4/16/1928
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Trial Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Kiawah, South Carolina
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
4/16/1928
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Earl Neal is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

For three generations the name Neal has been a benchmark of commitment, integrity and extreme professionalism. Earl Langdon Neal stands as one of the most respected attorneys on the Chicago legal scene. The son of Chicago attorney Earl James Neal, Earl Langdon Neal was born in Chicago on April 16, 1928. He received his B.A. from the University of Illinois in 1949, and his J.D. from Michigan Law School in 1952.

Following his graduation from law school, Neal served briefly in the United States Army. In 1955, he joined his father's law firm, Neal & Neal. Their first trial together took them to Lincoln, Illinois. The two were forced to commute from Chicago because Lincoln, nearly one hundred and seventy miles away, had no hotels that would admit African Americans. In 1960, Neal began working with the Chicago city government. That year Neal was appointed assistant Corporation Counsel and worked closely with the Bureau of Engineering in acquiring land for the Dan Ryan and Kennedy rapid transit extension projects. He also served as trial lawyer for the Land Acquisition Division and the Land Clearance Committee. In 1962, Neal accepted the responsibility as principal of his father's law firm after his father was appointed judge. In 1968, he formed his own firm, Earl L. Neal and Associates and continued to handle trial work for the city of Chicago and other public agencies.

In 1975, Neal was elected President of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. His election made him the first ever African American trustee in the United States. While serving his twelve-year tenure, he helped to guide debates over issues of minority medical school recruitment and the provision of health services to the surrounding community. He was also instrumental in launching land acquisition and development of the University of Illinois Circle Campus. In 1995, Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Neal chair of the Chicago/Gary Regional Airport Authority. As chair, Neal concentrated his efforts in support of an economic and strategic solution to the growing aviation transport demands on the region.

Earl Langdon Neal was the recipient of a host of honors and awards, including the Robert S. Abbott Memorial Award; the Justice John Paul Stevens Award; and the Defender of Justice Award. His community work included membership in the Chicago Urban League, the NAACP, and co-chairmanship of the Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science. He resided in Chicago with his wife, Isobel. Their son, Langdon Neal, is an attorney.

Neal passed away on February 13, 2005.

See how Earl Neal is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Earl Neal narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Earl Neal narrates his photographs, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Slating of Earl Neal's interview
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Neal Earl lists his favorites
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Earl Neal describes his mother and his mother's family background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Earl Neal describes his father and his father's background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Earl Neal describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Earl Neal talks about his Native American relatives
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Earl Neal describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Earl Neal describes the sights, smells, and sounds of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Earl Neal talks about his family life growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Earl Neal describes himself as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Earl Neal talks about gang violence in his neighborhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Earl Neal describes his childhood neighborhood of Hyde Park in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Earl Neal talks about his father's attending law school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Earl Neal talks about attending the Eighth Church of Christ Scientist in Bronzeville in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Earl Neal describes his father's legal representation of U.S. Congressmen William Dawson and Ralph Metcalfe
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Earl Neal talks about his experiences as a student at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Earl Neal talks about his parents' and teachers' influence as a student at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Earl Neal talks about working with Chicago politicians Alderman Kenneth Campbell and U.S. Congressmen William L. Dawson
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Earl Neal talks about experiencing discrimination while attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1945 to 1949
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Earl Neal talks about the relationships he formed with other black students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Earl Neal talks about his experience at the University of Michigan Law School from 1949 to 1952
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Earl Neal talks about being drafted into the U.S. Army after graduating from the University of Michigan Law School in 1952
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Earl Neal talks about being stationed in Orleans, France in the U.S. Army in 1953
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Earl Neal talks about becoming a lawyer in Chicago, Illinois, after being discharged from the U.S. Army in 1955
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Earl Neal describes working for the Land Acquisition Division and Land Clearance Committee in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Earl Neal talks about representing the interests of various departments in the City of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Earl Neal describes his relationship with Chicago, Illinois Mayor Richard J. Daley
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Earl Neal talks about representing the City of Chicago, Illinois during HistoryMaker's Renault Robinson's discrimination case in 1976
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Earl Neal talks about what his father's and his wife's, HistoryMaker Isobel Neal, views of his work for the City of Chicago
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Earl Neal talks about how representing the City of Chicago in HistoryMaker Renault Robinson's discrimination case affected his career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Earl Neal describes his move from employee to contract worker for the City of Chicago's Corporate Counsel's office
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Earl Neal talks about the opportunities for African Americans in the corporate world in the 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Earl Neal talks about being elected as Chairman of the Board of First Federal Savings and Loan in 1983
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Earl Neal talks about Mayor of Chicago, Illinois, Harold Washington
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Earl Neal describes his experience as Chairman of the Chicago Housing Authority in 1982
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Earl Neal talks about serving as President of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1975
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Earl Neal talks about his tenure as president of the Board of Trustees at the University of Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Earl Neal talks about what he learned serving as Chairman of the Board of First Federal Savings and Loan in 1983
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Earl Neal reflects on his father's advice
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Earl Neal describes his hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Earl Neal reflects on his contributions to the black community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Earl Neal reflects on the difficulties of the legal profession
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Earl Neal talks about the business of the legal profession
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ealr Neal describes how he wants to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Earl Neal reflects on his legacy