Roderick T. Sawyer was born on April 12, 1963 in Chicago’s 6th Ward. Roderick has called the 6th Ward home his entire life. He is the youngest of three children born to Celeste C. Taylor and the late Mayor of Chicago and former 6th Ward Alderman, the Honorable Eugene Sawyer.
Roderick’s education began at the Howalton Day School. In 1981 he graduated from St. Ignatius College Prep and four years later, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from DePaul University. He received a Juris Doctorate from IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law in 1990 and was admitted to the Illinois State Bar in the same year.
Growing up on the south side of Chicago, Roderick’s parents ensured he understood the importance of helping others, maintaining a strong work ethic, building solid neighborhoods, and functioning as one community towards a greater public good. Mirroring his father, Roderick started his work in public service at a young age. From joining the 6th Ward Young Democrats to being a director on the Meyering Park Advisory Council, Roderick has fueled his passion for public service.
Presently, Roderick is on the Board of Directors of the South Shore Drill Team, eta Creative Arts Foundation, Meyering Park Advisory Council and Board of Trustees at St. Mark A.M.E. Zion Church. Since his election in 2001, Roderick has served on McDade Classical School’s Local School Council as member and former Chairman. Roderick is an active participant in the Park Manor Neighbors Community Council, Chatham Avalon Park Community Council, and 7200 Prairie Block Club, where he serves as President. Every year he co-chairs a fundraiser, which raises monies for a scholarship fund that provides financial assistance for disadvantaged African-Americans who attend his high school alma mater.
Roderick’s legal experience includes: Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois Commerce Commission; Special Assistant Attorney General for the Illinois Department of Transportation, and Prosecutor for the Illinois Secretary of State and Of Counsel to Odelson & Sterk, Ltd. Roderick also volunteers as General Counsel for eta. Since 1993, Roderick has been in private practice specializing in election, real estate, and administrative law. His office is located in the 6th Ward on East 75th Street.
In his spare time, Roderick enjoys deejaying as an amateur music mixologist and playing basketball, softball and dominoes. Roderick is married to Cheryll and they have two children, Sydni Celeste and Roderick T. Jr.