William (Bill) H. Farley Jr., 66, an Oak Park resident for 30 years, died on April 22, 2016. Born on Feb. 20, 1950, he completed his undergraduate degree at Yale University, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in England, and earned his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School.
Bill began his professional career at the Chicago law firm of McDermott Will & Emery and was elected partner. He was a pioneer among African American attorneys in the city and an advocate for diversity within the legal community. He also served as first assistant corporation counsel for Mayor Harold Washington and continued his public service as general counsel of the Chicago Transit Authority, during which he managed 35 full-time attorneys.
Following his CTA position, he joined the law firm of Jenner & Block as partner where he was a civil litigator. He also served as chief operating officer for Applied Business Strategies and as a partner for the firms Burris, Wright, Slaughter & Tom and Gonzalez, Saggio & Harlan.
Bill Farley lived an accomplished life and worked to change the world for the better. Out of all his impressive accomplishments, the greatest were his faith, meeting his wife Gale, and being a dad to his two sons, William and Royal.