CORRIGAN, HON. WILLIAM H. (November 29, 1923 - February 1, 2017) was a lawyer, community activist, and judge in the Housing Division of the Cleveland Municipal Court. One of four children, he was born to defense attorney William Corrigan and pioneering Cleveland journalist Marjorie (Wilson) Corrigan, who reported on political issues for the PLAIN DEALER and other Cleveland newspapers in an era traditionally dominated by men. 

During WORLD WAR II, Corrigan survived a gunshot wound in the Battle of the Bulge, winning a Purple Heart. After the war, he received his BA and MA degrees from JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY before getting his law degree from CLEVELAND-MARSHALL LAW SCHOOL. He was admitted to the bar in 1952, going into practice with his father. In 1954, Corrigan assisted his father in representing Dr. Samuel Sheppard, who was accused of killing his wife, in the infamous and high-profile SHEPPARD MURDER CASE.  

Corrigan placed a high priority on community engagement. In the 1960s, he became a teacher and counselor at Glenville High School during the city’s historic riots and served as a consultant to the Cleveland Diocese Commission on Catholic Community Action. In 1989, Corrigan was elected to a 6 year term in the Housing Division of the Cleveland Municipal Court, defeating former Cleveland Mayor and Municipal Judge CARL STOKES. He was deeply committed, along with his wife Judith Sweeney Corrigan, to the work of several community service organizations, including the Juvenile Intervention Program, the Cleveland chapter of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and the Cleveland Non-Violence Network. The Irish American Archives Society recognized the couple’s joint community work with the 2005 WALKS OF LIFE AWARD.

Judith Sweeney Corrigan was born in Cleveland on August 11, 1932, to James Vincent Sweeney, a school custodian, and Norma (Foster) Sweeney.  The couple married on August 4, 1956, at St. Ann’s Church in CLEVELAND HEIGHTS. They had eight children: Mark, Ann Sibula, Bill, Patty Cunningham, Mary, Kathleen Foley, Matthew, and Jennifer Truman. Judge Corrigan passed away in 2017 at the age of 93 and is buried in CALVARY CEMETERY on the East Side of Cleveland.

Daniel Brennan and David Patrick Ryan


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