Taft High School was a springboard for U.S. District Court Judge Wayne Andersen’s career. From Taft he headed to Harvard University, where he graduated in 1967 with a cum laude degree in Government. He was captain of the varsity track and field team and is co-holder of the university’s 100-yard dash record. At the University of Illinois College of Law, he earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1970 in addition to serving as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and winning the college's moot court competition.
A legislative staff internship through University of Illinois led to a position as administrative assistant to Henry Hyde, then majority leader of the Illinois House of Representatives. He joined the law firm of Burditt and Calkins in 1972, rising to partner in 1977. From 1981-1984 he was Deputy Illinois Secretary of State under future Gov. Jim Edgar, serving as a spokesman and policy-maker with a specialty in traffic safety and functions relating to legal, business arid financial communities,
A life-long Republican, he is a former president of the Maine Township Regular Republicans, was an alternate delegate to the 1984 Republican National Convention, and the Republican candidate for Cook County Treasurer in 1974.
Wayne was elected as a judge in the Circuit Court of’ Cook County in November 1984, serving the Law Division, the Municipal First District, and as Supervising Judge of the Chicago Traffic Court. Since 1991 he has served as a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois. His long-time interest in traffic issues has led to state and national committee and advisory board positions on highway safety.
Judge Andersen is married to Illinois Appellate Justice Sheila M. O’Brien, and lives in Glenview, Ill. He is the father of six.
Wayne Andersen, Class of 1963