Minnesota State Law Library
Edward Toussaint, Jr. was born on October 9, 1941, in Waxsaw, Louisiana. In 1956, his family moved to Chicago, IL. He graduated from Dunbar Vocational High School in 1960 and attended community college for a year and a half before transferring to Chicago Teachers College (now Chicago State University), graduating in 1964. Judge Toussaint taught junior high science in the Chicago Public Schools system from 1964 to 1975.
While working as a teacher, Judge Toussaint began attending DePaul University Law School in the evenings starting in 1970. He earned his law degree in 1974. In 1975, Judge Toussaint and his family moved to Minesota, where he took a job as Claims Counsel for American Family Insurance. In 1981, he joined the bench as a Workers' Compensation Judge. He was appointed as a Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals Judge in 1987.
Judge Toussaint was appointed to the Henepin County District Court bench by Governor Arne Carlson in 1992. On March 13, 1995, Governor Carlson appointed him to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. A month later, on April 10, 1995, Governor Carlson appointed Judge Toussaint Chief Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Judge Anne Simonett.
Judge Toussaint was re-elected to his seat on the bench in 1996, 2002, and 2008, and served as Chief Judge for five three-year terms. He did not seek re-appointment as Chief Judge in 2010 and served as a sitting judge of the Court of Appeals from November 1, 2010 until his retirement on July 15, 2011 upon reaching the Court's mandatory retirement age of 70.
Following his retirement, Judge Toussaint continued to serve the Minnesota Court of Appeals as a Senior Judge. In addition to his judicial career, Judge Toussaint has also taught as an adjunct professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law and the University of St. Thomas School of Law. He has held numerous positions in state and national legal organizations, including serving on the Executive Committee of the Minnesota State Bar Association since 1993 and as President of the Council of Chief Judges from 1998-1999. Judge Toussaint was the first African American Judge to serve on the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
You may learn more about the life and work of Judge Edward Toussaint Jr. in the research resources linked in this guide, which are the sources of this brief biography.