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Patrick Fitzgerald at a glance

The Chicago Sun-Times front page reporting Patrick Fitzgerald's appointment as U.S. attorney 2001.

The Chicago Sun-Times front page reporting Patrick Fitzgerald's appointment as U.S. attorney in 2001.

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Updated: May 23, 2012 9:25PM

Patrick J. Fitzgerald at a glance

AGE: 51

BORN IN: Brooklyn, N.Y., the son of an immigrant father who worked as a laborer and then as a Manhattan doorman.

BOYHOOD: Star of his class at Our Lady Help of Christians School, went on attend Regis, a Jesuit high school in Manhattan that gives working-class children an Ivy League education for free. Worked summers at an ice-cream shop and as a deck hand on New York’s ferries. Played the accordion at his sisters’ Irish dance contests.

EDUCATION: Graduated in 1982 from Amherst College in Massachusetts, where he played rugby, with a bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics. Worked summers during college as a janitor in Brooklyn’s public schools. Graduated from Harvard Law School in 1985.

CAREER: Joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan in 1988 after working for a New York law firm. Appointed the top federal prosecutor in Chicago, for the Northern District of Illinois, by President George W. Bush just before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

FAMILY: Wife, school teacher Jennifer Letzkus, two young children.

QUOTE: “We’re trying to send a deterrent message to people not to commit the crimes, but we’re also trying to send a message that, if people have done wrong, that they wake up, smell the coffee and work with us,” Fitzgerald once said, explaining why Tony Rezko, a former campaign fund-raiser for ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich, got a harsh, 10 ½-year prison sentence after refusing to cooperate with prosecutors until after his conviction.

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