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The Honorable R. Eugene Pincham

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Information about The Honorable R. Eugene Pincham

Profile image of The Honorable R. Eugene Pincham

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
County Circuit Court Judge
State Appellate Court Judge
Trial Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
All Food
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
As For Me And My House, We Will Serve The Lord.

Birthplace

Born:
6/28/1925
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
County Circuit Court Judge
State Appellate Court Judge
Trial Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
All Food
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
As For Me And My House, We Will Serve The Lord.

Birthplace

Born:
6/28/1925
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how The Honorable R. Eugene Pincham is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

R. Eugene Pincham, human rights activist, lawyer, former judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, and justice of the Appellate Court of Illinois, was a strident critic of the criminal justice system. He was born on June 28, 1925 in Chicago, Illinois but grew up impoverished in Alabama. After his high school graduation in 1942, Pincham became interested in becoming a lawyer. He attended college at LeMoyne College in Memphis, Tennessee, and in 1944, he transferred to Tennessee State University in Nashville, where he earned his B.S. degree in political science in 1947. In 1948, Pincham married his college sweetheart, Alzata C. Henry, and that same year enrolled in Northwestern University School of Law. Despite the fact that he had to wait tables at the Palmer House Hotel and shine shoes as a full-time student, Pincham earned his J.D. degree in 1951.

Pincham then began to practice law as an attorney in the state and federal courts. In 1954, he accepted an offer to practice law with the firm that became Evins, Pincham, Fowlkes and Cooper. In 1965, Pincham was admitted to the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1976, Pincham became a Circuit Court of Cook County judge and was assigned to the Criminal Division, where he served until 1984. He went on to become a justice of the Appellate Court of Illinois. There, Pincham gained a reputation as one who sought justice for the poor as well as the rich. Pincham resigned from the bench in 1989 and unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party’s nomination for president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. In 1991, he became the Harold Washington Party’s nominee for Mayor of Chicago. Although he lost, Pincham carried nineteen of the city’s fifty wards - a powerful endorsement from the African American community.

A member of the American Civil Liberties Union and a lifetime member of the NAACP, Pincham continued to lectured and instructed in trial and appellate techniques and advocacy after his retirement. He received numerous awards for his professional and community service and activism. Pincham passed away on April 3, 2008 at the age of 82.







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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of R. Eugene Pincham's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his maternal family history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his maternal grandmother, Safronia Sowell
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his family's pride in their heritage
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his mother's interest for education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham shares memories of his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the American Missionary Association and how his parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about learning to love his father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his expulsion from LeMoyne College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham describes how he met his wife at Tennessee State University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his college experience at Tennessee State University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham describes Northwestern University School of Law
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the 1964 Freedom Summer campaign in Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his participation in the 1964 Freedom Summer campaign in Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the distinction between equality and integration
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about provisions against African Americans in the U.S. Constitution
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham describes working as a day laborer in the cotton fields
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the lessons learned from working in the cotton field
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his Christian faith
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham recalls working through law school at Northwestern University School of Law
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about arguing cases before the United States Supreme Court
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his wife's role in the courtroom
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his approach to the law
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his court rulings
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his children and marrying his wife
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his wife's first job in Chicago, Illinois as a substitute teacher
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the birth of his three children
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about spousal roles in his marriage
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his three children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his experience of racial discrimination after graduating from Northwestern University School of Law
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham describes learning about being a front line lawyer
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his first appeal, which overturned a death sentence
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham describes inheriting Joseph E. Clayton, Jr.'s clients
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham remembers a case he took from Joseph E. Clayton, Jr.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about making ends meet
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his first United States Supreme Court Case, pt.1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his first United States Supreme Court Case, pt.2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about when there are biases from the bench
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his experience in Mississippi as a lawyer in 1964
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about racial discrimination in Mississippi
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about successfully defending a white female demonstrator in Mississippi
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the personal impact of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his transition from Mississippi back to Evins, Pincham, Fowlkes and Cooper
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham describes People v. Alfano, pt.1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham describes People v. Alfano, pt.2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his transition from lawyer to judge
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about Mayor Harold Washington and Chicago politics in the 1980s
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the political turbulence in Chicago after the death of Mayor Harold Washington in 1987
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the low voter turnout in Chicago's black community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his 1991 campaign for Mayor of Chicago
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his 1990 bid for President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham reflects on his 1990 bid for President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about systemic inequality and cultural indoctrination in the black community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the leadership vacuum in the black community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - R. Eugene Pincham describes what inspired the start of the non-profit organization Probation Challenge
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the memorable case that helped inspire the start of Probation Challenge headed by HistoryMaker Harold E. Bailey
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham describes two memorable court cases
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about People v. Smith
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham continues to recount several other memorable court cases
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his his work teaching appellate procedure and trial techniques
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the role of his wife in his career
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham defends free press and talks about its role in the O.J. Simpson trial
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the impact of technological advances on the legal process
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham describes why he took on the Ryan Harris case
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the Ryan Harris case, pt.1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the Ryan Harris case, pt.2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the media's role in the Ryan Harris case
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the Roscetti case
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Slating of R. Eugene Pincham's interview
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the Ryan Harris case settlements
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham discusses the Anna Gilvis case
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about taking the Ryan Harris case to Terry Hilliard, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about why Superintendent Terry Hilliard may have failed to discipline his officers
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham assesses the state of black political power in the City of Chicago
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about apartheid in South Africa
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the necessary conditions for black political empowerment in Chicago
  • Tape: 10 Story: 9 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about HistoryMaker Obama's potential presidential bid
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about HistoryMaker Barack Obama's presidential candidacy
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the impact of outsourcing jobs on middle class Americans
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham describes the consequences of African American underrepresentation in criminal justice jobs
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the cost of police misconduct
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the necessity of policing prosecuting misconduct
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham describes racial discrimination in Cook County's State's Attorney's Office
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the R. Kelly case
  • Tape: 11 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about 2003 E2 nightclub stampede, pt.1
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about 2003 E2 nightclub stampede, pt.2
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about 2003 E2 nightclub stampede, pt.3
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about 2003 E2 nightclub stampede, pt.4
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the distinction between accidents and criminal conduct
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his case selection process
  • Tape: 12 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham reflects on what he would do differently
  • Tape: 12 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 12 Story: 8 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his heroes
  • Tape: 13 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the American Missionary Association
  • Tape: 13 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham describes meeting his wife, Alzata Pincham
  • Tape: 13 Story: 3 - R. Eugene Pincham describes his marriage to wife, Alzata Pincham
  • Tape: 13 Story: 4 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about his children and grandchildren
  • Tape: 13 Story: 5 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about educational inequity
  • Tape: 13 Story: 6 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about the importance of improving access to as well as the value for education
  • Tape: 13 Story: 7 - R. Eugene Pincham talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 14 Story: 1 - R. Eugene Pincham narrates his photographs, pt.1
  • Tape: 14 Story: 2 - R. Eugene Pincham narrates his photographs, pt.2