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Joseph Barr Topinka

Born: , in Berwyn, Illinois
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Topinka was born in Berwyn and raised in Riverside. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Political Science/Pre-Law and History and Northern Illinois University in DeKalb with a Doctorate in Law. He also graduated from Loyola University Chicago School of Law with a Master in Laws in Health Law.

Biography: Joseph Baar Topinka splits his time between the suburbs of Chicago and Texas, where he is now an assistant professor at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois; a juris doctor from Northern Illinois University; a Master of Business Administration from Saint Martin’s University; a Master of Laws, Military Law, United States Army Judge Advocate General’s School, Charlottesville, Virginia; a Master of Health Administration from Chapman University in Orange, California; and a Master of Laws, Health Law, Loyola University Chicago. He has published or co-published many works over the last 10 years.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers; Young adult readers


Selected Titles

Just Judy: A Citizen and Leader for Illinois
ISBN: 0998328227 OCLC: 987157121

In Just Judy, we read the story of Judy Baar Topinka, a strong and inspiring female leader who changed Illinois history through her commitment to effective government and equality. Through education and persistence, Judy found herself on a history-making path, impacting the lives of millions of Illinois residents along her way. Judy began her career as a journalist and moved into government as a State Representative, State Senator, and then State Comptroller. Her story is a unique portrayal of modern Illinois history based on the life of a female politician who defied traditional gender roles to rise to the top of her profession and support the lives of people throughout the state. Featuring compelling photographs, unique primary sources, and inspiring discussion questions, this book is an ideal resource for students of history from middle school through adult. Judy Baar Topinka continues to inspire us all.