James C. Murray

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James Cunningham Murray (May 16, 1917 – October 19, 1999) was a U.S. Representative from Illinois from 1955-1957. He graduated from De Paul University Law School in 1940, and subsequently worked as a lawyer. He served in the United States Army Air Forces from 1942 to 1945.


Born in Chicago, Illinois, Murray was elected to the Chicago City Council as 18th Ward alderman in 1959. He served eight years during which he was vice chair of the finance committee and president pro tempore. He sponsored the city's first fair housing law, which passed by four votes. Opposition to his fair housing activism resulted in his losing a 1966 judicial election, but he became a judge of the Cook County Circuit Court in 1970. Judge Murray was on the Appellate Court from 1986 until his retirement in 1994.

He was a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee to Recommend Rules of Evidence, the Judicial Conference Committee on Evidence and the Committee on Complex Litigation.

Murray received the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award for exemplifying Christian ideals. It was named after a 1963 encyclical letter by Pope John XXIII that calls upon all people of good will to secure peace among all nations; Pacem in terris is Latin for 'Peace on Earth'. He also received the Chicago Commission on Human Relations Award for equal opportunity in the area of housing.

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United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Fred E. Busbey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Emmet F. Byrne