C.F. Stradford Award

For the past 18 years the Cook County State's Attorney's office has been recognizing distinguished attorneys and judges within the African-American community with the C.F. Stradford Award. Cornelius Francis Stradford was a pioneering civil rights attorney and a co-founder of both the National Bar Association and the Cook County Bar Association. He was the lead counsel representing African-Americans following the race riots of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921. He has served as an inspiration for countless attorneys, and was well known for his unwavering dedication to securing full equal protection under the law for African-Americans.

Stradford Award recipients will be selected based on the following criteria:

  •     Leadership, Honor, Integrity, and Fairness
  •     Community Involvement and Activism
  •     Charity and/or Pro Bono work
  •     Youth Involvement and/or Mentorship Programs

In addition to honoring outstanding attorneys and judges who exemplify the qualities of serving justice in the community, our office also provides two internship positions in the State's Attorney's Office. Additionally, a $1,000 scholarship is donated by our sponsor, State Farm Insurance. The internships are intended to inspire young people to pursue their dreams and perhaps return to work one day in the State's Attorney's Office.

Each nomination must be submitted in the form of a letter explaining the reasons for the nomination. The letter should reflect as much information as possible to support the consideration of the nomination by the selection committee. To nominate an individual, please send the nominating letter to:

Cook County State's Attorney's Office
Community Outreach Unit
69 W. Washington
20th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60602

The Community Outreach Unit can be contacted at (312) 603-8710

Past Stradford Award Recipients

The Honorable P. Scott Neville, Jr. 
Dr. Ozzie Smith III, D. D. S.

The Honorable Reginald H. Baker
Attorney Victor P. Henderson

The Honorable Patricia Martin Bishop
Attorney Larry R. Rogers, Sr.

The Honorable Curtis Heaston, Presiding Judge, Juvenile Justice Division
The Honorable Justice Shelvin Louise-Marie Hall, The Illinois Appellate Court

The Honorable John O. Steele, President of the Illinois Judges Association
Professor Patricia Mell, Dean, John Marshall Law School

The Honorable Marianne Jackson, Associate Judge, Juvenile Justice Division
The Honorable Michael Stuttley, Associate Judge, Juvenile Justice Division

The Honorable Blanche Manning, U.S. District Court Judge
Attorney James D. Montgomery, The Cochran Law Firm

The Honorable Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County

The Honorable William Cousins, Jr., U.S. District Court Judge
The Honorable John W. Rogers, Sr., retired

The Honorable Ellis E. Reid, Circuit Court of Cook County

The Honorable Earl Strayhorn, retired
Carol Mosely-Braun, former U.S. Senator

Jewel Stradford-LaFontant, former U.S. Deputy Solicitor General (posthumously)

The Honorable John H. Stroger, Jr., President,
Cook County Board of Commissioners

The Honorable Charles E. Freeman, Illinois Supreme Court

Cecil A. Partee, former Cook County State's Attorney (posthumously)

The Honorable Ann Clair Williams, U.S. District Court

Randolph Stone, former Cook County Public Defender

Earl Neal, former Cook County assistant public defender