The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

The Honorable Wilson Frost

Share on Social Media

Information about The Honorable Wilson Frost

Profile image of The Honorable Wilson Frost

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
City Council Member

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Spaghetti
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Maui, Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
It Is What It Is.

Birthplace

Born:
12/27/1925
Birth Location:
Cairo, Illinois

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
City Council Member

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Spaghetti
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Maui, Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
It Is What It Is.

Birthplace

Born:
12/27/1925
Birth Location:
Cairo
See how The Honorable Wilson Frost is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Longtime Chicago politician Wilson Frost was born in Cairo, Illinois, on December 27, 1925, and earned his bachelor's degree from Fisk University in 1950. He attended Chicago-Kent College of Law, earning his J.D. in 1958. He later studied at DePaul University's Lawyer's Institute.

After graduating from Fisk, Frost was hired by the Postal Transportation Service as a clerk, where he remained until 1952. That year, he left to work at Provident Hospital as a statistician. After earning his law degree, Frost joined the firm of Frost, Sherard, Howse & Coleman, where he continued on as a partner until 1973. That year, he left to form Meyer & Frost, which later became Frost & Greenblatt. He remained there until his retirement in 1998.

Frost became active in the Chicago political machine in 1967, winning election as alderman of the 21st Ward. In 1971, he was elected alderman of the 34th Ward, and in 1976 he was serving as the president pro tem of the City Council. With the death of longtime mayor Richard J. Daley in 1976, Frost pointed out that under existing law he was to become the new mayor. The other aldermen disagreed, and after the course of several meetings, Frost was kept out of the mayor's seat and instead was named the chairman of the Finance Committee of the City Council. Following the incident, Frost continued to serve the city, retiring in 1998 with the title of commissioner of the Cook County Board of Tax Appeals.

During his many years of public service, Frost was honored by many organizations, including the Original Forty Club, which awarded him the Man of the Year Award in 1974, and the Illinois House of Representatives, which issued a resolution praising his work upon his retirement. Frost also actively served various organizations, including the John Marshall School of Law and Mercy Hospital Medical Center. He also served as vice president of the City Club of Chicago. Frost and his wife, Gloria, had four children.

Frost passed away on May 5, 2018 at the age of 92.

See how The Honorable Wilson Frost is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Wilson Frost narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Wilson Frost narrates his photographs, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Wilson Frost narrates his photographs, pt. 3
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Wilson Frost narrates his photographs, pt. 4
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Slating of Wilson Frost's interview
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Wilson Frost lists his favorites
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Wilson Frost describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Wilson Frost describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Wilson Frost describes his father's personality
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Wilson Frost describes his mother's personality
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Wilson Frost describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Wilson Frost describes his childhood neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Wilson Frost describes family life during his childhood in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Wilson Frost describes his experiences at Doolittle Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Wilson Frost describes his experiences at Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Wilson Frost remembers playing several sports during high school in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Wilson Frost describes his experiences at Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Wilson Frost talks about suffering a knee injury in the United States Army during World War II
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Wilson Frost describes studying at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Wilson Frost remembers his time at Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Wilson Frost describes entering the legal profession in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Wilson Frost talks about his beliefs on legal confidentiality
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Wilson Frost reflects upon the criminal justice system in the State of Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Wilson Frost relates the origins of his political career in Chicago's 21st Ward
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Wilson Frost talks about his role in Democratic politics in Chicago, Illinois during the 1960s and 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Wilson Frost talks about being president pro tempore of the Chicago City Council
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Wilson Frost describes the state of politics in Chicago, Illinois in 1976
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Wilson Frost describes the death of Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago, Illinois in 1976
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Wilson Frost describes the succession crisis after the death of Chicago, Illinois' Mayor Richard J. Daley
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Wilson Frost explains his decision to not pursue the position of interim mayor after the death of Chicago, Illinois' Mayor Richard J. Daley
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Wilson Frost describes his time as chairman of the Chicago City Council Finance Committee
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Wilson Frost talks about African American power in Chicago politics
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Wilson Frost explains his philosophy on political outsiders and insiders' role in impacting societal change
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Wilson Frost talks about Harold Washington's early years in Chicago, Illinois' politics and his first run for mayor in 1977
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Wilson Frost describes his career during the administrations of Chicago, Illinois Mayors Michael Bilandic and Jane Byrne
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Wilson Frost describes the 1983 mayoral campaign of Harold Washington in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Wilson Frost talks about Harold Washington's tenure as mayor of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Wilson Frost describes the death of Mayor Harold Washington of Chicago, Illinois in 1987
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Wilson Frost describes his time on the Cook County Board of Tax Appeals
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Wilson Frost talks about federal investigations of the Cook County Board of Tax Appeals in 1994
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Wilson Frost describes his concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Wilson Frost reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Wilson Frost describes how he would like to be remembered and explains the boundaries of the 34th Ward