Bernard M. Judge

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Bernard Judge is an American journalist who has served in management positions at the City News Bureau of Chicago, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. He is a lifelong Chicagoan, married to Kimbeth Wehrli Judge and father to three grown children, Kelly, Bernard, and Jessica, and five grandchildren, Daniel Goldberg, Isabella Goldberg, Henry Schott, Ava Schott, and Declan Judge.

After he got out of the Army in 1964 Mr. Judge worked briefly at the old U.S. Steel South Works site before entering the newspaper business.[1] He eventually built a national reputation. When the actor Edward Asner was playing city editor Lou Grant, he sought Judge's advice about the nuances of running a newsroom.[2]

Mr. Judge began his career as a reporter for City News Bureau of Chicago in 1965. He moved to the Chicago Tribune to cover state and federal courts and government. During his tenure, two investigative reporting projects he directed won the Pulitzer Prize.[3] (He later served as a juror for the 2000 Pulitzer Prize awards.[4]) Mr. Judge returned to the City News Bureau of Chicago in 1983 as the Editor and General Manager. He then joined the Chicago Sun-Times as the metropolitan editor and associate editor. He directed series and projects that won more than 20 state and national awards, including the series by Charles Nicodemus that killed the plan to establish a new central library and set the stage for the Harold Washington Library[5]

Mr. Judge left the Chicago Sun-Times to become the editor and vice president of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. He became the Law Bulletin's publisher in 2001. At the newspaper's 150th anniversary celebration in 2004, Chief Judge Joel M. Flaum of the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said "The paper has bound many generations of lawyers together. It is extremely well led by Bernard Judge, who has been a beacon of excellence wherever he's been. And never has that beacon shone more brightly than at the Law Bulletin."[6] Upon Judge's retirement in 2007, former Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas R. Fitzgerald stated "He has endeared himself to hundreds, if not thousands, of lawyers because of his integrity. He understood it wasn't only getting the story, it was getting it right."[3]

Since retiring, Mr. Judge has been a non-lawyer Hearing Board Officer for the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC), serving as a trial judge in lawyer disciplinary cases. In April, 2012, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed him to serve as a Commissioner of the ARDC.[7] Mr Judge also served on the Illinois State Admissions Review Committee responsible for reviewing claims that some applicants to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign received special treatment.[8] The blue ribbon panel's response to the University of Illinois clout scandal included recommendations of reforms to improve the fairness and transparency of the admissions process.[9] He has also become a first-time author in retirement. Along with Neal Samors, Mr. Judge co-authored Chicago's Lake Shore Drive: Urban America's Most Beautiful Roadway [10][11]


  • Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame[2]
  • Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago Bill of Rights in Action award (2001) [12]
  • Headline Club lifetime achievement award
  • City Club of Chicago Excellence in Journalism award
  • Illinois Press Association James C. Craven Freedom of the Press Award
  • Fenwick High School Hall of Fame[13]
  • Fenwick Accipiter Award (first recipient, 1997)[14]

Board Memberships[edit]

  • Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago[15]
  • Catholic Charities
  • Illinois First Amendment Center (Chairman, 2008)[16]
  • Fenwick High School