Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  James Block Zagel  

Pen Name: James Zagel

Genre: C:ADULT Fiction

Born: 1941 in Chicago, Il


Illinois Connection

Judge Zagel earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago in 1962 and a master's degree from the University of Chicago in the same year. He then earned a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1965.

Biographical and Professional Information

James Block Zagel is a United States district judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and a novelist. Judge Zagel began his career as an assistant state's attorney in Cook County, Illinois. He then served as an assistant attorney general for the State of Illinois from 1969 until 1977. Concurrent to the job as assistant attorney general, Judge Zagel ran the Criminal Justice Division in the attorney general's office from 1970 until 1977, and he also served as chief prosecuting attorney for the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board.Judge Zagel has presided over many high-profile trials, including the 2007-2009 Family Secrets trial, which resulted in the convictions of multiple members of the Chicago Outfit.

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