Sampson, Edith S. (Edith Spurlock), 1901?-1979

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1898-10-13
Death 1979-10-08

Biographical notes:

Daughter of Louis and Elizabeth (McGruder) Spurlock, Sampson was born on October 13, 1901, in Pittsburgh, Pa. She studied at the New York School of Social Work and the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration before receiving her law degree from John Marshall Law School in 1925. In 1927 she received an LL.M. from Loyola University, and was admitted to the Illinois bar; in 1935 she was admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court. At the age of 20 she had married Rufus Sampson, from whom she was divorced in the early 1930s. She later married attorney Joseph Clayton, and was widowed in 1956.

Sampson worked as a lawyer and served as a probation officer and referee in the family court of Cook County, and as assistant corporation counsel of the city of Chicago, before being elected associate judge of the Municipal Court of Chicago in 1962. In 1964 and again in 1970, she was elected associate judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, and in 1971 and 1976, judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, a position she held until her retirement in 1978.

In addition to her legal work, Sampson represented the United States internationally. In 1949 she travelled in Europe on behalf of the World Town Hall of the Air, lecturing and debating about political issues of the day. In 1950 she was appointed Alternate United States Representative to the United Nations; she was reappointed in 1952. In 1951 and 1952, as a representative of the State Department, she toured Europe and lectured about the current status of African Americans. In 1961 and again in 1962, she was appointed to the United States Citizens Commission on NATO.

Sampson was a member of the Cook County Bar Association, the Women's Bar Association of Illinois, the National Association of Women Lawyers, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the National Council of Negro Women, and was a trustee of Roosevelt University.

From the description of Papers, 1927-1979 (inclusive) 1934-1979 (bulk). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 232007631

Edith Spurlock was born on October 13, 1901, in Pittsburgh, Penn., to Louis and Elizabeth (McGruder) Spurlock. She received her early education at Lincoln and Larimer Elementary Schools and at Peabody High School. Upon her graduation from high school, she tried unsuccessfully to secure a teaching position, but while employed at the Associated Charities of Pittsburgh she was selected to study at the New York School of Social Work. She later attended the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. While a social worker in Chicago, she enrolled in evening classes at John Marshall Law School, receiving an LL.B. degree in 1925. In 1927 she received an LL.M. from Loyola University, and was admitted to the Illinois bar; in 1935 she was admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court. At the age of 20 she had married Rufus Sampson, from whom she was divorced in the early 1930s. She later married attorney Joseph Clayton, and was widowed in 1956. ESS worked as a lawyer and served as a probation officer and referee in the family court of Cook County, and as assistant corporation counsel of the city of Chicago, before being elected associate judge of the Municipal Court of Chicago in 1962. In 1964 and again in 1970, she was elected associate judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, and in 1971 and 1976, judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, a position she held until her retirement in 1978.

In addition to her legal work, ESS represented the United States internationally. In 1949 she travelled in Europe on behalf of the World Town Hall of the Air, lecturing and debating about political issues of the day. In 1950 she was appointed Alternate United States Representative to the United Nations; she was reappointed in 1952. In 1951 and 1952, as a representative of the State Department, she toured Europe and lectured about the current status of African Americans. In 1961 and again in 1962, she was appointed to the United States Citizens Commission on NATO.

ESS was a member of the Cook County Bar Association, the Women's Bar Association of Illinois, the National Association of Women Lawyers, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the National Council of Negro Women, and was a trustee of Roosevelt University.

From the guide to the Papers, 1927-1979, (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)

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Subjects:

  • Judges
  • United States--Dept. of State--Officials and employees
  • Afro--American judges--Illinois
  • Women
  • African American lawyers
  • United States--Diplomatic and consular service
  • Afro--Americans--History--Illinois--Chicago
  • African American women
  • Chicago (Ill.)--Officials and employees
  • Afro--American lawyers--Illinois
  • African American judges
  • Women judges
  • Women judges--Illinois
  • African Americans--History--20th century
  • Middle East--Description and travel
  • United Nations--Officials and employees, American
  • Afro--American women--Illinois
  • United Nations. General Assembly--Proceedings
  • Women--Iran
  • Women lawyers--Illinois
  • Women lawyers
  • Europe--Description and travel--1945-1970

Occupations:

  • Lawyers
  • Judges

Places:

  • Illinois--Chicago (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • Iran (as recorded)
  • Middle East (as recorded)
  • Chicago (Ill.) (as recorded)
  • Illinois (as recorded)