James B. Parsons
James Benton Parsons (1911 - 1993) musician, educator, lawyer and judge, from Kansas City, MO. He was the First black federal judge (Northern District of Illinois, 1961). He was also the first black to receive a lifetime appointment as a Federal District Court judge. Parsons played a crucial role in the air traffic controllers' dispute in their 1970 strike.
Parson was the son of James B. Parsons (a minister) and Maggie Parsons. He attended Millikin University in Decatur, IL. In World War II, he served in the Navy.
- Honorary degrees from Lincoln University, James Milliken University, and DePaul University Law School.
- Citation of Recognition for Outstanding Service as Chief Judge of the District Court, Chicago Bar Association.
- Outstanding Service Award, Chicago State University.
- Constance Baker Motley The first African American woman named US federal court judge.