George A. Cooke was born near New Athens, Ohio, in 1869 and went to Mercer County, Illinois, upon the death of his parents, where he had lived since 1880. He graduated with the class of 1892 of Knox College. He was admitted to the Bar in 1895 and practiced his profession in Aledo until his election to the Supreme Court in 1909 to fill the vacancy in the Fourth Supreme Court District caused by the death of Justice Guy C. Scott. He was elected in 1912 for the term of nine years. Judge Cooke was a member of the forty-third and forty-fourth General Assemblies.