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John J. Stamos (January 30, 1924 - January 28, 2017) was a Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court from 1988 to 1990.

Early life and military serviceEdit

Born in Chicago, Illinois to Greek immigrants from the Kiato region of Corinthia,[1] Stamos served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II, from 1943 to 1945, in the European theater of operations.[2] He was initially did clerical work at a military psychiatric facility in Belgium, but when the hospital began treating wounded soldiers following the Battle of the Bulge, he became a litter-bearer.[1]

Legal and judicial careerEdit

After the war, Stamos received an LL.B. from DePaul University College of Law in 1948, and was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1949.[2] He then served as assistant corporation counsel for the city of Chicago, assistant state's attorney for Cook County, and chief of the Criminal Division of the Cook County state's attorney office.[2] In 1966, Stamos, then the first assistant state's attorney, was appointed state's attorney of Cook County after predecessor Dan Ward was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court. While Stamos was in this office, Cook County tried mass murderer Richard Speck, although Stamos did not consider prosecuting the case personally.[1] Stamos was not slated for reelection to the job in 1968, as Mayor Richard J. Daley feared losing the office to a Republican candidate of Irish ancestry, Robert J. O'Rourke, and instead slated Edward Hanrahan, who went on to win the election.[1]

As he was not slated to run for his position as a prosecutor in 1968, Stamos instead successfully sought election to the first district appellate court in that year. He served in that position until his appointment to the Illinois supreme court in 1988,[2] to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Seymour Simon.[1] Once, while serving, he received a letter from a fan of the actor, John Stamos, asking for a picture. He replied by sending a photograph of himself in his judicial robes.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Stamos was married twice, the first time to Helen Voutiritsas, with whom he had a daughter, and who died from breast cancer in 1981. In 1986, he remarried, and had three children with his second wife, Mary. Stamos died of pulmonary fibrosis within hours of a dinner to celebrate his coming 93rd birthday. He was buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie, Illinois.[1]


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