Robert C. Underwood was born in Gardner, Illinois on October 27, 1915, and attended public schools there. He was a 1937 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University and a 1939 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law, and commenced practicing law in Normal, Illinois in 1939. He served as city attorney and as assistant State’s Attorney of McLean County and was elected County Judge in 1946, serving in that capacity until 1962 when he was elected to the Supreme Court, serving as Chief Justice from September 1969 to January 1976. Justice Underwood held membership in a number of professional organizations, including the American, Illinois, and McLean County (past president) Bar Associations. He was past president of the former Illinois County and Probate Judges Associations, and served as vice-chairman of the Conference of Chief Justices (national). Several honorary degrees and numerous awards were conferred upon him. He was a member of the United Methodist Church, Masonic orders (33rd degree), Rotary International (honorary), Delta Kappa law fraternity and Pi Kappa Delta national forensic fraternity, and authored a number of articles in professional publications. He died Wednesday, March 30, 1988 at his home in Bloomington.