S. Louis Rathje was born in Geneva, Illinois, on November 1, 1939. He received his B.A. in History from Wheaton College in 1961 and his J.D. degree from Northwestern Law School in 1964. He was admitted to the State of Illinois Bar in 1964, the State of Wisconsin Bar in 1989, and the United States Supreme Court in 1980. He was a partner in the law firm of Rathje, Woodward, Dyer & Burt from 1970 to 1992. He was elected a judge of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Court in 1992 and served in the Civil Jury Trial Division until 1994. He was elected a Justice of the Appellate Court, Second District, in 1994. He was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court in January 1999. His term on the Supreme Court ended December 4, 2000. He is a member of the DuPage County Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Wisconsin State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Illinois Judges' Association.