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

Randolph Noel Stone

Distinguished professor of law Randolph Noel Stone was born on November 26, 1946 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The eldest of seven children, Stone’s parents greatly emphasized the importance of education. After graduating from high school, Stone went on to attend Lincoln University in Pennsylvania where he received an academic scholarship.

Stone was drafted by the United States Army in 1967 and served in Vietnam. After the war, Stone returned and continued his studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. In 1972, he graduated with his B.A. degree, and inspired by the legal profession’s icons, Thurgood Marshall and Charles Houston Hamilton, Stone attended the University of Wisconsin earning his J.D. degree in 1975. After graduation, Stone received a Reginald Heber Community Law Fellowship and worked with the Neighborhood Legal Services in Washington, D.C. He then worked as a staff attorney and office director for the Criminal Defense Consortium of Cook County and later as a Clinical Fellow for the University of Chicago Law School before starting his own private practice with Stone & Clark. At that time, Stone was appointed to represent one of the defendants in the “Pontiac Seventeen” Case, then the largest capital murder case in U.S. history. All the defendants were acquitted after a lengthy jury trial.

Stone later served as staff attorney and deputy director for the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia and as an instructor at Harvard Law School before becoming the Public Defender of Cook County in Illinois in 1988. As the first African American Public Defender of Cook County, Stone was responsible for the management of a $30 million budget and the leadership of over 500 attorneys. In 1991, Stone was appointed as the director of the Mandel Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School where he created the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project, providing law and social work students with the opportunity to engage in policy reform while defending children and young adults accused of criminal behavior. Stone continues to serve as a Clinical Professor of Law at the Law School. Stone was the first African American to Chair the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, an organization of over 9,000 criminal defense lawyers, prosecutors, judges, public defenders and other professionals concerned with criminal justice policy. He is a past president of the Illinois Board of Bar Admissions, a founding board member of First Defense Legal Aid (FDLA), the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem and former board member of both the Cook County and Chicago Bar Associations. He currently serves on the board of Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities (TASC), the Sentencing Project, Inc. and on a variety of other advisory boards and committees. Stone has received a number of awards and writes and teaches about criminal and juvenile justice, race and crime, evidence, legal ethics and trial advocacy.

Stone lives in Chicago, Illinois, is married to Cheryl Bradley, has four children and continues to serve the general public through the profession of law.

Accession Number

A2008.011

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/5/2008 |and| 2/8/2008

Last Name

Stone

Maker Category
Middle Name

Noel

Schools

Robert M. Lafollette School

Rufus King International High School

Lincoln University

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

University of Wisconsin Law School

First Name

Randolph

Birth City, State, Country

Milwaukee

HM ID

STO06

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Wisconsin

Favorite Vacation Destination

Chicago, Illinois, Washington, D.C.

Favorite Quote

The Moral Arc Of The Universe Is Long, But It Bends Towards Justice.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

11/26/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lamb

Short Description

Law professor and public defender Randolph Noel Stone (1946 - ) was the first African American director of the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender in Chicago, Illinois. Stone later served as the director of the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School, where he started the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project.

Employment

Neighborhood Legal Services Program

Criminal Defense Consortium of Cook County

Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic

Stone and Clark

Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia

Law Office of Cook County Public Defender

Harvard Law School

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:3367,61:11375,173:12285,186:22331,257:23219,267:24218,291:27104,334:31968,371:32424,378:46459,543:50200,599:51070,610:52027,623:53854,660:57595,721:58378,743:58813,749:59596,760:65568,788:68670,819:86043,1047:129530,1521:142744,1706:145090,1753:162390,1981:167098,2046:167442,2051:179775,2201:183195,2267:184525,2291:195700,2379:199408,2414:200155,2428:211030,2615:211480,2621:214303,2641:214738,2647:236117,2874:236553,2879:237861,2889:238624,2899:239278,2907:239714,2912:249788,3091:254980,3103:259492,3176:260244,3185:261090,3200:261748,3208:278520,3378:278990,3384:279648,3394:289926,3554:297096,3610:298068,3624:301255,3659:302490,3674:314761,3832:323685,3991:336810,4112$0,0:1504,56:10139,157:11066,167:12096,179:12508,184:14568,209:15289,217:26396,344:27124,358:38219,464:39000,477:39639,489:39923,494:41769,528:42195,535:44183,574:45106,598:45745,608:46100,614:46881,627:47378,635:54103,697:54767,706:55846,722:56676,733:57257,742:58419,759:58834,765:61050,776:64706,824:66182,852:66756,860:67330,868:70749,901:71428,909:72010,916:72495,922:89084,1120:98300,1196:110428,1401:113263,1423:113758,1429:119203,1548:119599,1553:127324,1625:131850,1646:133515,1666:135180,1678:135846,1686:136290,1691:137178,1699:140175,1727:140952,1735:141396,1740:143824,1747:144520,1756:147678,1783:149486,1789:149898,1794:151340,1809:153360,1815:154074,1824:155298,1839:155706,1844:174405,2065:175455,2095:175755,2100:178925,2124:191700,2224:193366,2247:200770,2334:202660,2366:209122,2424:209860,2435:210188,2440:210762,2448:211582,2461:212156,2469:215251,2486:217138,2504:245555,2721:246080,2730:251736,2808:252352,2815:253584,2832:257790,2851:274150,3027:274885,3035:294360,3365
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Randolph Noel Stone's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Randolph Noel Stone lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls his mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Randolph Noel Stone talks about the U.S. military service of his maternal grandfather Jacob Hale

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls his neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers moving to an all-white neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Randolph Noel Stone describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls the impact of white flight on his community

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his home life

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls his parents' strict discipline

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his early educational experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls facing discrimination at the Robert M. LaFollette School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers the racial demographics of his community

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls attending Rufus King High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers segregation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Randolph Noel Stone talks about his college aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls his influences at Rufus King High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his childhood personality

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls his early interests

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers being arrested in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls his friends from Rufus King High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his music lessons

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls attending Calvary Baptist Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his train ride to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls his first impressions of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Randolph Noel Stone talks about his first impressions of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers Professor Charles V. Hamilton

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls his economics course at Lincoln University

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his social life at Lincoln University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers the black fraternities at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls joining Lincoln University's choir

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his decision to leave Lincoln University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Randolph Noel Stone talks about the Revolutionary Action Movement at Lincoln University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls being drafted into the U.S. military

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers his decision to go to Vietnam

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his first impressions of Vietnam

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls his experiences during the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers returning home to Milwaukee, Wisconsin from the Vietnam War

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls the political climate of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1969

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his psychological state after the Vietnam War

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls his experience at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his role with the Black People's Topographical Research Center

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers his influences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Randolph Noel Stone talks about his first marriage

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls enrolling in the University of Wisconsin Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Randolph Noel Stone talks about his favorite class at University of Wisconsin Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his involvement with the Black American Law Students Association

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers his mentors in law school

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his passion for public service

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls his Reginald Heber Smith Community Law Fellowship

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers his early casework

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Randolph Noel Stone's interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Randolph Noel Stone describes the Neighborhood Legal Services program

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers his first court case

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Randolph Noel Stone talks about a eviction case

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls joining the Criminal Defense Consortium of Cook County in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers his first murder case, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers his first murder case, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Randolph Noel Stone describes how his experience in Vietnam War influenced how he practiced law

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls transferring to the Criminal Defense Consortium of Cook County's Woodlawn office in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his position with the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers the Hot Dog Stand Murders case at the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers the Hot Dog Stand Murders case at the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls the verdict of the Hot Dog Stand Murders case

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Randolph Noel Stone reflects upon his clients' acquittal

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Randolph Noel Stone describes the procedures of a clinical law firm

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Randolph Noel Stone talks about the social issues of the Hot Dog Stand Murders case

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls an armed robbery case at the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Randolph Noel Stone reflects upon his time as a clinical fellow at the University of Chicago Law School

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers the Pontiac 17 case

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls the proceedings for the Pontiac 17 case

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Randolph Noel Stone describes the details of the Pontiac 17 case

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers the difficulties he faced during the Pontiac 17 case

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls a self-defense case, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls a self-defense case, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Randolph Noel Stone talks about the emotional toll of a murder case

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his position at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls a case at the Public Defender Office for the District of Columbia

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Randolph Noel Stone describes a weapon possession case

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers the trial of a weapon possession case

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls his decision to join the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his accomplishments at the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his accomplishments at the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls his community involvement in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his caseload at the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Randolph Noel Stone remembers problems within the Cook County State's Attorney's Office

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls returning to the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Randolph Noel Stone describes the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project

Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls a case for the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 12 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls a case for the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 13 - Randolph Noel Stone talks about his legal advocacy in South Africa

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Randolph Noel Stone recalls his experiences in South Africa

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his intensive trial practice workshop at the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Randolph Noel Stone reflects upon his career

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Randolph Noel Stone reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Randolph Noel Stone talks about his family

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Randolph Noel Stone describes his future plans

DASession

1$2

DATape

4$8

DAStory

6$2

DATitle
Randolph Noel Stone remembers his decision to go to Vietnam
Randolph Noel Stone recalls the proceedings for the Pontiac 17 case
Transcript
So, we got the orders to go to Vietnam and--story--the funny story there was, we get the orders to go to Vietnam from Louisiana, but we're gonna get about a month off to go home for the holidays because this is December of '67 [1967], and we're supposed to report to Seattle [Washington] in January of '8 [1968], so we got three full weeks off. So, those of us who were coming back to the Midwest--there were about eight or nine of us, and we took a bus from Fort Polk, Louisiana, and we were gonna catch a plane out of Houston [Texas] and I think we went to maybe--some small town in Louisiana to wait for a transport to take us to Houston. So we're, we're dropped off; there're six or seven of us, all of us going to Chicago [Illinois] to catch flights to other places. And so we're standing on the ground, and we look up and there's a bar, you know, within walking distance--big sign, beer sign out in front. So somebody says, "Well, let's go and have a couple beers while we're waiting on our transport to the Houston airport." So we all walk in this bar, and we're all in our uniforms, fatigues, with our, you know, duffle bags and whatnot, and it's kind of like a country western bar, and there's a huge table--a round table--and we all sit around this table; there's six or seven of us, and it was just like right out of a Western movie, you know; we walk in, and everything gets quiet, you know; I mean you could almost hear a pin drop. And we sit around this, this table, and the waitress walks up and she says to one of the other guys--I'm the only black guy there; there's six or seven guys. She says to the white guy, she says, "We can't serve you guys." And the white guys look at her like, what, are you crazy, you know. "We just finished advanced infantry training, we're on our way to Vietnam; what do you mean you can't serve us?" And she says, "Well, as long as you--as long as he's here, we can't serve you." And so the white guys, you know, they all look at me like--they can't believe it, you know, 'cause they're from Chicago, the Midwest, or whatever. And so they wanna get violent and turn the place out and so, you know, I'm saying, "No, we're, we're not gonna do that," (laughter), "because I'll be the one who winds up going to jail, you know." So we walk out of the club--the bar--complete silence, and nobody says another word until the transport comes. So, we're on the plane or--the transport comes, takes us to Hou- to the Houston airport, we get on the plane; one of the--we're all going to Chicago, and then a couple of us are going to Milwaukee [Wisconsin] and, and other places. One of the white guys on the plane comes and sits with me in my seat on the airplane, and he says, "Look, I'm not going to Vietnam, I'm going to Canada and then I'm going to Paris [France]. If you wanna go, call this number." And he gives me this number to call, and then he goes back to his seat. So, when I get home to Milwaukee, you know, after decompressing for a couple days, I tell my parents, you know, what happened in this bar, and I tell 'em about this number that I have to call, and I give it to my parents and, you know--so we--I remember sitting at the kitchen table, and my father [Raymond Stone, Sr.], he has worked himself up into such an emotion that he's almost, he wants to cry, you know. And my mother [Lee Terrell Stone], she's just in a complete consternation; she doesn't know what--so I said, "Well, here's the thing, you know; I can go to Canada and maybe France, or I can go to Vietnam. What should I do?" You know. And, you know, it was just so difficult for them to discuss it, you know; they were just like dumbfounded. And they never did tell me what they thought I should do, you know; they kind of talked about the pros and the cons and, you know, "You may not make it to Canada, you might not make it to France, you could get locked up. If you go to Vietnam you could get killed or maimed or hurt." It's a, you know, tough decision. And--well, ultimately I dec- I--you know, I went to Vietnam, but it was--I still think about that a lot.$What happened with the--this, this Pontiac [Pontiac 17] case?$$The Pontiac case--well, the Pontiac case was a nightmare of--an, an administrative nightmare. Seventeen defendants, each defendant had one or two lawyers appointed, so just--you know, as you can imagine, trying to manage that schedule was just an administrative nightmare, and the judge who was appointed was a judge from downstate, Ben Miller [Benjamin K. Miller], and he had worked out some kind of schedule for payment; we were supposed to be getting paid every couple weeks and we'd submit our vouchers for payment. And then they appointed three prosecutors, special prosecutors, to try the case. Well, sometime during the, the pretrial proceedings, we discovered that the prosecutors were being paid a lot more than the defense lawyers. The prosecutors were all white, most of the defense lawyers were African American, which was another unique thing about this case, in that there were so many African American lawyers involved, you know--Skip Gant, Roosevelt Thomas, Lou Myers [ph.], Chokwe Lumumba from Detroit [Michigan]; he came in, tried--was part of the case--Stan Hill [Stanley L. Hill]--and I'm leaving out a lot of people, but there were a lot of very good--Leo Holt [HistoryMaker Leo Ellwood Holt] was the--probably the dean, and I think he's one of your HistoryMakers. Marianne Jackson, who's now a judge in juvenile court, was one of the trial lawyers on the case; Jeff Haas [ph.], Flint Taylor [G. Flint Taylor] from the People's Law Office [Chicago, Illinois], they were involved in the case. David Thomas, Paul Brayman--just a, a, a, a really good group of trial lawyers--Marc Kadish, and many of them African American. So, thousands of motions were filed, pretrial proceedings lasted about a year, jury selection took about three or four months of jury selection; it was a very painstaking, onerous process. And I'm in private practice at the time, so I'm trying to balance my practice with this Pontiac case, which was extremely difficult, and--but anyway--so we picked a jury, three or four months of jury selection, and then the trial lasted another two, two and a half months. And, and then, just before the trial started, the judge divided the case into the ten--ten and seven; one group of ten, one group of seven, and then he decided that he would go to try the ten first, hence the Pontiac 10. One of the seven defendants decided to turn state's evidence and testify against the ten, which created all kinds of havoc and--but--so two and a half months at trial, and then closing arguments took three or four days, and jury goes out on Mother's Day, I think, or the day before Mother's Day in 1981, and they're out like three or four hours, and they come back and they find everybody not guilty, and it was just a pandemonium, you know; I mean sheer ecstasy for us, but--and for the--you know, the clients, obviously. And my client (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Who was your client?$$My client was Albert Jackson, who was serving time on another--every--well, obviously, everybody in, in the case was serving time on another case, that's why they were in prison [Pontiac Correctional Center, Pontiac, Illinois]. But ultimately, I got him out on his other case and we--we're still in very close touch. We, I talk to him at least once a month, or twice a month.

Rita Aliese Fry

Rita Aliese Fry was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on May 28, 1946. Moving with her family to Chicago, Fry attended Catholic schools and graduated from high school in 1964. First attending Prairie State College in Chicago Heights for an A.A. in 1968, Fry then attended Loyola University of Chicago for a bachelor's degree in 1971. She later went on to attend Northwestern University School of Law, earning her J.D. in 1979.

Fry joined the Cook County Office of Public Defense in 1980, serving as an assistant public defender. She remained there until 1986, when she took a position with the city of Chicago Law Department as a supervisory attorney. Two years later, she returned to the Cook County Public Defender's Office, this time serving as the chief executive, where she remains in her second term today. The Office of the Cook County Public Defender is the largest public defender office in the country, with Fry supervising more than 500 attorneys.

Also active in public policy, Fry has worked as a consultant both in private practice and through government appointment. Governor George Ryan named her to the Illinois Commission on Capital Punishment, a panel that sought to reevaluate Illinois' administration of the death penalty. In 1994, she was selected by the president of the Supreme Court of Ethiopia to assist in establishing a public defender system in that country. Fry has received numerous awards, including the Phenomenal Women Award and the Sixth Amendment Award, and she remains active with a number of organizations, including serving as vice president of the Leadership Council of Greater Chicago and serving on the board of directors of the Lawyer Assistance Program. Fry and her husband, Adelbert, have one son, who is also an attorney.

Accession Number

A2003.246

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/2/2003

Last Name

Fry

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Aliese

Occupation
Schools

St. Charles Borromeo School

St. Mary High School

Prarie State College

Loyola University Chicago

Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

Old St. Mary's School

First Name

Rita

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

FRY01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

You Can't Hit A Home Run Unless You Step Up To The Plate.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/28/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Public defender Rita Aliese Fry (1946 - ) has held positions in the Office of the Cook County Public Defender, the city of Chicago as the supervisor of the law department and as chief executive of the Public Defender's Office.

Employment

Cook County States Attorney's Office

City of Chicago

Cook County Public Defender's Office

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:1463,30:2079,40:3311,52:7777,131:9086,149:12243,198:13090,210:14091,227:21762,276:22364,284:22794,290:23138,295:24428,316:24944,323:26234,340:26750,347:30276,405:31394,425:32168,435:32684,442:37660,480:38220,488:38540,493:46540,632:57908,763:77170,958:83667,1066:84023,1071:84735,1081:86693,1109:93476,1164:93981,1170:97213,1208:116598,1394:117830,1407:118270,1414:119062,1424:120294,1446:120646,1451:121878,1468:123638,1497:128770,1533:132984,1554:133296,1559:134154,1571:136592,1587:140110,1608:140902,1623:142398,1652:143278,1664:146544,1741:150576,1795:153264,1845:153600,1850:154188,1859:155028,1870:156288,1883:159688,1901:160016,1906:163280,1944:164060,1971:164684,1980:170066,2141:170534,2160:171314,2176:173498,2223:181951,2311:182396,2317:183019,2326:183820,2340:184977,2362:189249,2434:189783,2441:193308,2471:193760,2476:194212,2481:198600,2526$0,0:1379,16:1995,26:2380,32:2765,39:3458,54:3997,62:4382,69:4690,74:4998,80:5306,92:7231,133:7847,144:8232,150:11588,170:12254,185:12550,190:37147,551:38148,571:39226,598:42691,661:47157,756:48004,770:53179,792:53605,802:55256,820:56192,842:57344,865:57848,872:58280,879:58928,890:62312,949:62672,955:63032,961:63320,966:65120,996:65696,1006:70604,1034:70948,1039:71722,1051:72066,1056:73528,1071:76174,1102:76466,1107:77123,1118:77634,1127:79532,1162:83280,1179:83910,1189:84540,1211:88942,1241:89307,1247:89599,1252:89964,1258:90256,1263:90548,1268:90986,1281:97860,1337:98490,1346:99480,1361:100020,1368:100920,1380:102900,1418:103350,1426:103800,1432:104340,1440:109158,1466:109674,1473:111566,1510:112168,1519:113760,1524
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rita Aliese Fry's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rita Aliese Fry lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rita Aliese Fry describes her parents' backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rita Aliese Fry talks about her paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rita Aliese Fry talks about her maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rita Aliese Fry talks briefly about her great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rita Aliese Fry describers her father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rita Aliese Fry describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rita Aliese Fry describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rita Aliese Fry lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Rita Aliese Fry describes her childhood on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Rita Aliese Fry describes her childhood neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Rita Aliese Fry describes her experience at St. Mary High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Rita Aliese Fry describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rita Aliese Fry remembers Maxwell Street in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rita Aliese Fry describes her childhood social activities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rita Aliese Fry describes being considered "sadiddy" by other schoolchildren

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rita Aliese Fry describes her love for the blues

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rita Aliese Fry remembers live blues performances on Maxwell Street in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rita Aliese Fry describes her childhood personality and interests

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rita Aliese Fry describes her experience at St. Charles Borremeo School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Rita Aliese Fry remembers a nun at St. Charles Borremeo School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rita Aliese Fry describes her experience at St. Mary High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rita Aliese Fry describes dating as a high school student at St. Mary Catholic High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rita Aliese Fry remembers having to take a summer course in Latin at St. Mary Catholic High School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rita Aliese Fry describes being forbidden from attending the March on Washington in 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rita Aliese Fry describes experiencing racial discrimination on her senior class trip to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rita Aliese Fry describes her senior class trip to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rita Aliese Fry describes attending the Cortez Peters Business College of Chicago and Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Rita Aliese Fry talks about her graduation from Loyola University and admittance to the Northwestern University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Rita Aliese Fry talks about the assassinations of Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Rita Aliese Fry describes faculty members at the Northwestern School of Law in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rita Aliese Fry describes faculty members at the Northwestern School of Law in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rita Aliese Fry explains why she dropped out and then re-enrolled in law school

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rita Aliese Fry describes clerking for HistoryMaker James D. "Jim" Montgomery

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rita Aliese Fry explains her decision to join the Public Defender's Office

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Rita Aliese Fry describes her first day in the Public Defender's Office

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Rita Aliese Fry describes a public defender's daily workload, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Rita Aliese Fry describes a public defender's daily workload, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Rita Aliese Fry describes her tenure in the felony division of the Public Defender's Office

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Rita Aliese Fry describes filing a discrimination lawsuit against the Public Defender's Office, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Rita Aliese Fry describes filing a discrimination lawsuit against the Public Defender's Office, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Rita Aliese Fry talks about the conviction rate in Chicago, Illinois during the Mayor Harold Washington Administration

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Rita Aliese Fry explains her job function as Senior Attorney and Supervisor for Municipal Prosecution under the Harold Washington Administration

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Rita Aliese Fry remembers Chicago Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Rita Aliese Fry describes her tenure as Senior Attorney and Supervisor for Municipal Prosecution under the Harold Washington Administration

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Rita Aliese Fry talks about her return to the Public Defender's Office in 1988 as First Assistant

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Rita Aliese Fry describes her first weeks in the Public Defender's Office as First Assistant

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Rita Aliese Fry describes her tenure as First Assistant in the Public Defender's Office

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Rita Aliese Fry talks about being sworn in as Public Defender of Cook County

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Rita Aliese Fry describes what she'd like her legacy to be as the Public Defender of Cook County

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Rita Aliese Fry critiques the juvenile justice system, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Rita Aliese Fry critiques the juvenile justice system, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Rita Aliese Fry talks about her defense of a client charged with manslaughter

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Rita Aliese Fry talks about social and economic inequalities that influence the rates of conviction and incarceration, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Rita Aliese Fry talks about social and economic inequalities that influence the rates of conviction and incarceration, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Rita Aliese Fry critiques the demand for increased policing in urban communities

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Rita Aliese Fry talks about repressive legislation

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Rita Aliese Fry considers possibly working in public policy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Rita Aliese Fry describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Rita Aliese Fry describes recent improvements in public defense

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Rita Aliese Fry narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Rita Aliese Fry narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Rita Aliese Fry narrates her photographs, pt. 3

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

8$5

DATitle
Rita Aliese Fry remembers a nun at St. Charles Borremeo School in Chicago, Illinois
Rita Aliese Fry describes her first weeks in the Public Defender's Office as First Assistant
Transcript
Okay now, who do you remember coming to talk to the students, you know, some of the role models? Or who was, who were some of the teachers that you remember?$$The people who came to speak, I don't remember by name. They were just, you know, we had a doctor come one time to explain about what doctors did. We had police officers, we had social workers. We had, I think it was something--I'm trying to remember. They did something really unusual. Oh, it was an entertainer. Because this particular entertainer was an actor/singer type, who was very, who was friends with one of the nuns. And so he made a point every year of coming, and we would always be excited when he would come, and sometimes he'd bring somebody with him. But again, it was somebody that I wouldn't necessarily see other than at school or maybe in a movie. But here he was, and he came to our school, and that meant something. In terms of the nuns, I had a nun in sixth grade that was very "un-nun" like to me. (Laughter). Because she was loud, she had a big booming voice. She was very athletic, very energetic, and she was always saying, "You can do anything you want. And you don't have to be a "namby pamby" sissy just because, you know, you're a girl." And I appreciated that, and I saw that as something important. I had a nun in eighth grade, Sister Mary Caroline Cecile, I'll never forget. I won a scholarship, when I graduated from eighth grade, to high school. And so, that scholarship paid for my first year in high school. And she said to me, "You got that scholarship because you not only are part of our school and our parish, and all of that, but because you have the skills to go on. You just need to, you just need to settle down." Because I was always kind of a rebel. She said, "You just need to settle down." And I appreciated the fact that she understood that I was a rebel, but at the same time, I had potential. I didn't know what I was going to do. I remember looking in my eighth grade, you know how you get those autograph books when you graduated from eighth grade, where everybody signs, you know, and says all these little sentimental things to you. Well, inside of there, it said "What would you like to be?" And I said, "I want to be a lawyer." But I didn't know any lawyers. I'd never seen any other than on television. I didn't know how one went about being a lawyer. But I said it, I wrote it, and nobody said, "Oh, you can't do it." They just said, "Oh." And that makes a big difference.$And indeed, the first few weeks were a little tense. Because when I came back, most of the people that had been there when I'd been there were still there. Most of the people who had been hostile to me when I was there, were still there (laughter).$$And still hostile?$$And still hostile. And so, [HM] Randolph [Noel] Stone called a meeting of all the assistants, and primarily the ones at 26th and California, because they would be the people who I knew. The new people would not be in First--would be in First Municipal. So, we met at 26th and California, all the people who had been in the Office. And he said to them, "This is Rita Fry. She's my new First Assistant. I know that some of you might have some concerns. She is here to answer any questions and talk to you." And he turned it over to me. So I said, you know, "I am back, I am happy to be back. Public defense is something I've built my career on. I'm hoping that we can bring about some changes in the office--better training, better opportunities--and I hope that we can work together. The past is the past." One of the guys raised his hand and said to me, "How do we know we can trust you to not retaliate against us for things that happened to you?" And I don't know where this came from, it was just spontaneous. I looked at him and I said, "You can trust me because I am a public defender at heart. But more importantly, I'm the boss, I don't have to retaliate." And they all looked shocked, but they understood it, and that was that.