Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jack E. Horsley  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Non-Fiction

Born: December 12, 1915, in Sioux City, Iowa


Illinois Connection

Horsley graduated in 1939 from the University of Illinois College of Law. He lived in Mattoon, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Mr. Horsley earned his bachelor degree from the University of Illinois in 1937 and graduated from its law school in 1939. He had been commissioned a second lieutenant two years earlier after completing the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program on campus. He went to work at the Mattoon law firm of Craig & Craig soon after but his employment with the firm was interrupted by World War II during which time he served with the Judge Advocate General Corps in the European Theater. Horsley had many experiences as an Army Air Force officer. As Staff Judge Advocate, he was based at the Iceland Base Command from 1943-45. He was a passenger on B-17s on flights between Iceland and England. He had temporary duty in courts martial in England and Scotland and supervised four courts martial from 1944-45 in Kent and Sussex, England. He witnessed the Allied invasion fleet depart for France for D-Day in 1944 and was wounded in a Nazi shelling at Keflavik, Iceland in 1944. He was wounded by German ordinance while at his desk in England. His rank overseas was Lt. Colonel. After the war, he received two honorary promotions to full colonel and then to brigadier general. He received a Purple Heart in 2003, nearly 60 years after being injured. After serving two years in the Army Air Force, Horsley returned to Craig & Craig where he specialized in defending medical malpractice clients. His professional legal career took him to many courtrooms throughout the nation which included cases presented before the U.S. Supreme Court. Horsley retired from trial practice in 1997 but continued to counsel other lawyers on a conference basis.He was a longstanding member of the Illinois State Bar Association and served as president of the Coles-Cumberland Bar AssociationHorsley also served as president of the Mattoon School Board. A prolific writer, Mr. Horsley was a contributing editor for a variety of medical/legal publications. He also authored numerous books, outstanding among which is "Testifying in Court", required reading for law students at many universities. For almost 20 years he was the host and narrator of the "Interludes of Poetry" program broadcast nightly on Mattoon radio station WLBH-FM. Throughout his distinguished career, he was the recipient of prestigious honors and awards including being named a laureate of the Academy of Illinois Lawyers in 2008, just five weeks before his death.

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