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The Honorable Todd Stroger

Todd Herman Stroger was born on January 14, 1963, in Chicago, Illinois. The son of the late Cook County Board President John Stroger, Todd was introduced to politics at an early age. He attended St. Felicitous Elementary School and St. Ignatius College Preparatory. After graduating from St. Ignatius in 1981, Stroger spent a year at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a semester at the Illinois Institute of Technology before transferring to his father’s alma mater, Xavier University, in New Orleans. At Xavier, Stroger majored in history. It was here that he also met his future wife, the former Jeanine Baddoo. They have one son, Hans Eric, named after Stroger’s late brother.

Upon graduation, Stroger returned to Chicago, working at the Water Reclamation District and the Circuit Court of Cook County before pursuing a career in investment banking. He was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1992. As a member of the Illinois General Assembly, Stroger served as Chairperson of the Labor & Commerce Committee. He also served on committees dealing with computer technology, insurance and the environment. Among the bills he sponsored was one that would allow college teaching assistants and graduate assistants to form unions.

In 2006 Stroger's father, John Stroger resigned from his post as Cook County Board president due to health reasons. The Cook County Democratic Central Committee chose Stroger to replace his father and run for board president. Stroger won the election against Tony Peraica on November 7, 2006.

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St. Felicitas Elementary School

St. Ignatius College Prep

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Illinois Institute of Technology

Xavier University of Louisiana

DePaul University

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New Orleans, Louisiana

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City alderman and state representative The Honorable Todd Stroger (1963 - ) was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1992, and served as Chairperson of the Labor & Commerce Committee. In 2006, Stroger replaced his father, John Stroger, as Cook County Board president.


Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Circuit Court of Cook County

Illinois General Assembly

City of Chicago

Cook County Board of Commissioners

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Timing Pairs

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Todd Stroger's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Todd Stroger lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Todd Stroger spells his wife's and sibling's names

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Todd Stroger recalls growing up as a son of a politician

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Todd Stroger describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Todd Stroger reminisces about going to the drive-in movie with his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Todd Stroger remembers going to cocktail parties with his father as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Todd Stroger shares a story of his father's political resilience

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Todd Stroger describes his paternal and maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Todd Stroger describes his elementary school education in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Todd Stroger describes his early interest in reading

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Todd Stroger discusses the benefits of being the youngest child

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Todd Stroger talks about St. Ignatius College Prep High School

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Todd Stroger recalls his friendships and favorite teachers at St. Ignatius high school

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Todd Stroger describes attending the University of Wisconsin at Madison and transferring to Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Todd Stroger explains his decision to major in history

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Todd Stroger describes his early career on the Domestic Relations Circuit Court of Cook County and the Jury Commission

Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Todd Stroger recounts his work in Domestic Relations Circuit Court and how children suffer in divorce cases

Tape: 1 Story: 19 - Todd Stroger recounts how Domestic Relations Circuit Court shaped his views on fathers' rights

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Todd Stroger describes how his brother's death from an asthma attack affected him

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Todd Stroger talks about the grief process after his brother died

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Todd Stroger describes his service in the Illinois State Legislature

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Todd Stroger describes the political advantage his father gave him

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Todd Stroger reflects upon how his low-key personality helped his political career

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Todd Stroger talks about his interest in education and in preventing illegal dumping

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Todd Stroger describes his father's political influence and style and his own style

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Todd Stroger describes the difference in political positions

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Todd Stroger reflects on balancing his career and family life

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Todd Stroger describes how a bill goes through the Illinois General Assembly

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Todd Stroger describes the youth's lack of knowledge of the role of state legislators

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Todd Stroger explains how his politically active family raised his political awareness

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Todd Stroger explains why he does not intend to be a career politician

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Todd Stroger reflects on how he wishes to be remembered

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Todd Stroger discusses the difference between white and black political families

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Todd Stroger discusses his perspective on political careers

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Todd Stroger talks about the history of African Americans in the Illinois State Legislature

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Todd Stroger describes the current minority composition of the Illinois State Legislature

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Todd Stroger talks about growing racial inequality in the United States

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Todd Stroger talks about his marriage and his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Todd Stroger talks about naming his baby Hans Eric after his deceased brother







Todd Stroger describes his service in the Illinois State Legislature
Todd Stroger describes his father's political influence and style and his own style
How would you characterize your own service in the Illinois State Legislature?$$I think I had a pretty good run. Probably not extraordinary, but not bad either. I enjoy carrying bills that help people across the state - little bills, like I had a bill for the city of Freeport and they needed to do something so they could build some streets and do some things and it's the kind of thing people don't jump up and say yeah, I want to do that. But I think it makes you feel good to be able to help a group do something. And the legislature is very top heavy. The Speaker of the House has a tremendous amount of power, a lot of resources, money and people and in that sense the people who are elected generally will follow him. I would say probably 97, 98 percent of the time if he suggests something, he's going to get enough votes to do whatever he wants. And with that power, he generally will take heavy issues and the leaders get together, the Speaker, the Senate President, the Governor and the Minority Leaders, and they make pretty much all of the big decisions and the rest of us wait and say, okay that's what you think. Maybe we'll tweak it here and there, but we don't have the same opportunity to really dive in. And generally the people who do are just a select few, because the Speaker can't be everywhere. And he may have a couple of favorite people who will handle negotiations and things of that nature. So, I'm happy with being able to pass some legislation and do things in our district, like have job fairs and minority business development, pass money out to organizations that you know are really working hard and trying to do things. You don't have the big fist of the Speaker, but you have some impact, and I think I've had some impact on our district.$Can you tell me - have you sought - well, you must have sought to some degree, your father's advice generally, not about specific dealings or policies, but have you sought your father's advice as to how to handle your political life?$$Well, you know, he's the political leader of our area, right? He is the Committeeman which means that, he's the Democratic Committeeman, which means that his job is to promote the democrat and so in essence he promotes me, and I look at him as the leader and yeah, I call him on a lot of issues, since he's been involved, elected, for 30 years now and working with the County and being the President. There's a lot of issues that he has to deal with that affect the county, the state, and the city. So, I talk to him frequently. I find it - it's also a good way to get the lobbyists off my back for a while. I'll say, "Oh, let me ask my dad what he thinks." How would you compare your styles?$$He's [John Stroger] very aggressive. He's a very - and politics is his life. I mean if - he's a lawyer too. But I think if he didn't have to feed the kids and pay the house note and the car note, he wouldn't have been a lawyer. Politics is breakfast, lunch and dinner. Well, for me it's breakfast and lunch. I want to have dinner somewhere else. I don't really want to spend my whole life, you know, being involved in politics and not being able to spend a lot of time at home with my wife and child.