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The Honorable Blanche Manning

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Information about The Honorable Blanche Manning

Profile image of The Honorable Blanche Manning

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Federal District Court Judge

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Cheese
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/12/1934
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Federal District Court Judge

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Cheese
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/12/1934
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how The Honorable Blanche Manning is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

The appointment of Blanche M. Manning as United States District Court judge marks a momentous moment in Illinois history. Born December 12, 1934, in Chicago, Manning discovered her passion for law while working as a legal secretary to finance a bachelor's degree in education at DePaul University. She taught in Chicago public schools before pursuing a J.D. at John Marshall Law School. A jazz musician and enthusiast, Manning also studied music at Roosevelt University. She earned a master's of the laws of judicial process from the University of Virginia Law School.

In 1968, Manning began an exemplary legal career as assistant prosecutor in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. She subsequently worked as an attorney for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, United Airlines and the United States Attorney's Office. Manning was promoted to judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County in 1979. When she was elected to the Illinois Appellate Court in 1987, she became the first African American female member of that court. Accepting an appointment by President Bill Clinton, Manning began a lifetime position as district court jurist for the Northern District of Illinois in 1994. Her role in high-profile cases is chronicled in newspapers and books. Manning, who has contributed to workshops at the University of Chicago and Harvard law schools, served as adjunct professor of law at DePaul University College of Law. She is a fellow of the American Bar Association.

Manning has played in numerous jazz bands, and she regularly assembles her own band, Diversity, composed of musicians of diverse backgrounds. She has been involved in community development, and she received a "We Care" Role Model Award from Chicago police and public schools for ten consecutive years. Manning and her husband, William, whom she married in 1957, raised six nieces and nephews.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Blanche Manning's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Blanche Manning lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Blanche Manning describes her family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Blanche Manning describes her mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Blanche Manning describes her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Blanche Manning describes growing up on Chicago's South Side
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Blanche Manning describes her childhood personality and interests
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Blanche Manning describes her experiences in grade school
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Blanche Manning describes performing in the band and orchestra at Fenger High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Blanche Manning talks about playing jazz saxophone as a high school student
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Blanche Manning describes why stopped attending Roosevelt University's Chicago Musical College
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Blanche Manning talks about working through college
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Blanche Manning describes what inspired her to pursue a career as a lawyer
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Blanche Manning talks about attending law school while working as a teacher and raising five children
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Blanche Manning describes her experiences attending John Marshall Law School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Blanche Manning talks about the instructors that influenced her as a student at John Marshall Law School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Blanche Manning describes her experiences working as a prosecutor under Illinois State Attorney Edward Hanrahan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Blanche Manning talks about prosecuting a case where the defendant was innocent
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Blanche Manning talks about the challenges and responsibilities of being a prosecutor
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Blanche Manning comments on the death penalty
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Blanche Manning describes the demographic makeup of the Illinois State Attorney's Office from 1968 to 1973
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Blanche Manning describes how economic disadvantages play a role in shaping how African American defendants are sentenced
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Blanche Manning describes the benefits of working as a prosecutor in the Illinois State Attorney's Office
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Blanche Manning talks about prosecuting a defendant who later requested that she defend him
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Blanche Manning describes the environment of the Illinois State's Attorney's Office
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Blanche Manning describes her experiences working as a supervisory trial lawyer for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Blanche Manning describes the most memorable cases she tried as a supervisory trial lawyer for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Blanche Manning describes the process of filing a case with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Blanche Manning describes leaving United Airlines to work in the Office of the United States Attorney
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Blanche Manning describes her experiences working for the United States Attorney's Office
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Blanche Manning describes the most memorable cases she tried for United States Attorney's Office
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Blanche Manning describes how she became a judge for Cook County Circuit Court
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Blanche Manning describes her experiences serving as a Judge for the Illinois Appellate Court
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Blanche Manning describes the most memorable case she heard while serving as a judge on the Illinois Appellate Court
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Blanche Manning describes her experiences serving as a United States District Court Judge
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Blanche Manning describes the most memorable cases she heard while serving as a United States District Court Judge
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Blanche Manning describes being sent a bomb in 1995
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Blanche Manning describes how she was appointed as a United States District Court Judge by President William "Bill" Clinton
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Blanche Manning describes how a candidate for federal judge can fail an FBI background check
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Blanche Manning talks about the "Operation Greylord" Scandal
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Blanche Manning talks about organizations that support black female judges and lawyers, as well as other professional organizations she is involved in
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Blanche Manning shares her hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Blanche Manning comments on the perception of judges in popular culture
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Blanche Manning describes the character traits she shares with her parents, and her parents' pride in her accomplishments
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Blanche Manning describes her secondary career as a jazz musician
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Blanche Manning talks about some of the places she has performed
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Blanche Manning talks about her legacy and how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Blanche Manning narrates her photographs