Alumnus and former NJC Trustee Larry Craddock, a past chair of the ABA’s National Conference of Administrative Law Judges, passed away July 18 at the age of 79.
A participant in more than 10 NJC courses and programs, he served as a trustee of the College from 2010–2016. In August 2017, he was elected to a three-year term in the ABA’s House of Delegates, representing the National Conference of Administrative Law Judiciary, part of the ABA’s Judicial Division.
At the time of his death he had retired to private practice and consulting work. Judge Craddock had battled cancer for four years and more recently dealt with heart problems. In spite of those difficulties, he remained very active in issues concerning administrative law judges.
Mary Craddock, his wife of 57½ years, said he had gone up to his office at home around 1:30 and told her to come up at 3:30, which she did. She said he still had some ABA papers in his hand that he had been reading. He loved his work and loved The National Judicial College, she said.
J. Matthew Martin, an ALJ with the Social Security Administration, served with Judge Craddock on the NJC Board of Trustees. He said he received an email from him around 2 p.m. on the day he died.
“Even on the day he died, Larry Craddock was making things better for judges in general and administrative law judges, in particular. It was an honor to serve on the Board of Trustees with a judge as dedicated as Larry Craddock.”
Judge Craddock had a long career in Texas government, starting as an assistant attorney general from 1964 to 1972. He served as an attorney, legal adviser and administrator in the governor’s office from 1973–1984; as general counsel for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts from 1985–1990; and as an administrative law judge with the Finance Commission of Texas from 1992–2010.
NJC President Benes Aldana, who also received an email from the judge on July 18, said, “From the moment I met Larry a year ago when I became president, he wanted to make sure I understood the needs of administrative law judges, and he was not shy in making sure I heard him. As a former trustee of the College, he continued to be deeply devoted to its mission of making the world a more just place.”
Arrangements for a graveside service and celebratory memorial service in Austin, Texas, are incomplete at this time. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The National Judicial College, MD Anderson Cancer Center or the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice (mailing addresses below).
Other members of the NJC family remember Judge Craddock
“He was a great supporter and booster of the NJC. When I became president he helped open the door for me to the leadership of administrative law judge organizations across the country.”
Hon. Chad Schmucker (Ret.)
Immediate past president
“Judge Larry was tireless in advocating for the independence and professionalism of all judges but especially Ad Law judiciary. He was quick to inform of the important work performed by Ad Law judges and how they touch the lives of so many citizens. Larry was a quiet gentleman who truly loved his family and profession.”
Hon. William Dressel (Ret.)
“In many ways he exemplified the judicial reserve and controlled temperament of the members of his generation, which has been called ‘The Greatest Generation’ by some authors. He was one of the youngest members of that generation. His years of work in Texas and in government made him sensitive to the value of government in the lives of its citizens. He was a great listener and always soft-spoken, so that when he did say something it was pithy and worthy of note. We need so many more like him!”
Vice Chair, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Former NJC trustee and board chair
The National Judicial College
Judicial College Building, MS 358
Reno, NV 89557
MD Anderson Cancer Center
P.O. Box 4462
Houston, Texas 77210-4462
Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice
c/o Malcolm Rich, Executive Director
750 N. Lakeshore Drive, 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611