Sherman Skolnick

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Sherman H. Skolnick
Born July 13, 1930
Chicago, Illinois
Died May 21, 2006 (aged 75)
Chicago, Illinois
Occupation Author and investigative journalist

Sherman H. Skolnick (July 13, 1930 – May 21, 2006) was a Chicago-based activist and conspiracy theorist.[1][2][3]

Early life[edit]

Born in Chicago in 1930, at the age of six, Skolnick was paralyzed by polio, and he used a wheelchair for the rest of his life.[4] His parents, a homemaker and a tailor, were Jewish European immigrants.[4] Skolnik's father was from Russia.[5]


Skolnick was founder and chairman of the Citizen's Committee to Clean Up the Courts,[4] which he started in 1963. He used the local press to distribute his reports, later establishing a telephone hotline–"Hotline News", a public-access television show on cable TV, and a web site.[4]

Skolnick's investigations put Otto Kerner Jr. in prison for three years; and lead to the resignation of two Illinois Supreme Court justices, Roy J. Solfisburg, Jr. and Ray Klingbiel, who, as Skolnick reported, had accepted bribes of stock from a defendant in a case on which they ruled.[4] The scandal catapulted John Paul Stevens, special counsel to an investigating commission, to fame as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.[6] In 2001, the story became the subject of a book, Illinois Justice, by Kenneth A. Manaster.[6]

Skolnick's final written works include an 81-part series entitled "The Overthrow of the American Republic," and a 16-part series entitled "Coca-Cola, the CIA, and the Courts."[4]

Later life and death[edit]

Skolnick died of a heart attack on May 21, 2006.[4]


  1. ^ Fenster, Mark (1999). Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. p. 84. ISBN 9780816632428. Retrieved April 2, 2015. 
  2. ^ Kellner, Douglas (2003). Media Spectacle. London: Routledge. p. 120. ISBN 9781134493951. Retrieved April 2, 2015. 
  3. ^ Smith, Christopher E. (2011). "John Paul Stevens: A Liberal Leader & His Roles on the Court". In Smith, Christopher E.; DeJong, Christina; McCall, Michael A. The Rehnquist Court and Criminal Justice. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books. p. 128. ISBN 9780739140826. Retrieved April 2, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Noel, Josh (May 23, 2006). "Sherman Skolnick". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Judges: Skolnick's Guerrilla War". Time. August 29, 1969. 
  6. ^ a b Patten, Joseph N. (2003–2004). "Review of Illinois Justice: The Scandal of 1969 and the Rise of John Paul Stevens" (PDF). Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture. pp. 233–237. 

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