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Press Release

Bales (’83) Named College of Law Outstanding Alumnus

April 29, 2015

DeKalb, Ill.--Northern Illinois University College of Law alumnus Richard F. Bales (’83), was the 2015 recipient of the NIU Law College of Law Outstanding Alumni Award.  Bales, who is Assistant Vice President and Assistant Regional Counsel for Chicago Title Insurance Company, was recognized for his significant professional accomplishments.  He was honored and presented with his award by the NIU Alumni Association on Friday, April 17, 2015.

A prolific writer, Bales has published two books and is currently at work on two more.  Bales authored The Great Chicago Fire and the Myth of Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow, wherein he claims to have solved the mystery of who started the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The book also inspired specials on a Discovery Channel Unsolved History episode and an episode of the Weather Channel’s When Weather Changed History. He will complete The Forgotten Literature of Nelson Algren by the end of 2015 and is also working on a biography of George Wellington “Cap” Streeter, a notorious land ownership criminal for which the Chicago neighborhood of Streeterville is named.

Bales is actively involved in several professional organizations. He is a long-standing member of the Real Estate Committee of the DuPage County Bar Association. As a member of the Education Committee of the Illinois Land Title Association, he has lectured on title insurance throughout the state. He has written articles for the Chicago Bar Association, DuPage County Bar Association, and Illinois State Bar Association. Some of his articles were reprinted in the book Land Surveys: A Guide for Lawyers and Other Professionals, which was published by the American Bar Association in 2012. Bales published A Guide to Residential and Commercial Surveys in Illinois in 2004; it was updated and reissued in 2011.  In addition, Bales is a member of an American Land Title Association and American Congress on Surveying and Mapping liaison committee, and has helped draft several versions of the ALTA/ACSM land title survey standards.


For more information, contact:
Melody Mitchell
Alumni Events & Public Relations
(815) 753-9655 or

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