Thomas R. Chiola

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Thomas R. Chiola
Judge of the Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County
In office
1994–2009
Succeeded by Celia G. Gamrath
Personal details
Born (1952-03-18) March 18, 1952 (age 65)
Alma mater Illinois State University (B.S.)
University of Illinois College of Law (J.D.)


Thomas R. Chiola (born March 18, 1952) served as a judge of the Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County from 1994 to 2009. He was the first openly gay person elected to the court office as a Judge in Illinois.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Chiola grew up in Springfield, Illinois.[2] He graduated from Springfield's Griffin High School (now Sacred Heart-Griffin High School) in 1970. Chiola then received a Bachelor of Science from Illinois State University in 1974 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1977.[3]

Judicial service[edit]

In 1994, Chiola was elected to the Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County.[4][5] Chiola was the first openly gay candidate elected to any federal, state, county or municipal office in Illinois.[4][5]

Honors[edit]

In 1997 Chiola was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.[6]

References[edit]