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About the Author


Born in 1949, Cary E. Donham, the oldest of four children, grew up in small mid-west towns across Illinois. The oldest of four kids, Cary was a natural leader in his family which translated into leadership in life as he charted his course.


From lettering in four sports during high school to being named the Student of the Year in his high school senior year in 1967, it was clear from a young age Cary was not only athletic, but academically driven to succeed.  Upon finishing high school, Cary received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He entered the program at age 17 and survived the eight weeks of the grueling “Beast Barracks “ and quickly excelled in academics.  During his three years at West Point, Cary worked his way into the top ten percent of his class academically, despite the rigorous academic load. His departure from West Point before graduation shaped the trajectory for the life that he would carve out both professionally and personally.


After leaving West Point, Cary moved back to Illinois where he finished his undergraduate degree and took graduate classes at Western Illinois University.  In 1978, Cary moved to Chicago and after working as a professional musician for five years, he applied to law school. He attended law school at night while working full time, graduated fifth in his class, and was selected for and published in the Chicago Kent Law Review.


After a federal court clerkship, Cary joined the Chicago law firm of Shefsky & Froelich Ltd., (now Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP) where he eventually became partner.  During his 30-year career as a commercial litigator, he successfully represented the City of Chicago, the Chicago Fire Department, the Chicago Board of Education and the City of Chicago Laborer’s’ Pension Fund in cases involving constitutional issues. 


Cary has been married to his wife for over 43 years and have one adult son. Today, Cary is retired and lives in Kentucky.


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Cary Donham Author



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