Meet Our Board Members: Edward Gamble

Meet Our Board Members: Edward Gamble

Board of Regents

Born:  Chicago

College and major: University of Illinois at Chicago, criminal justice

Position: Special Investigator for the Illinois Attorney General Office for 25 years (now retired)

“My retirement was an early retirement to get to another gig – I’m trying to become an investigator for Cook County. This is a transitional retirement.”

Favorite travel destination:
“I was in the military, the Army, and I was in the National Guard and went into the reserves the last five years and I loved Germany – loved, loved, loved Germany. Just the country – it was clean, it was nice, a lot of culture; a lot of history. It was a good time.”

Most influential person growing up:
“My grandmother – she’s the one that taught me how to love.”

Finding Mercy Home:
“I grew up in the Cabrini Green housing projects and I left home when I was 14. I was on the street for about two years, got to Mercy Home and started this journey… It was a broken home – my mother was married to my stepfather – he was a dog so we didn’t get along – we bumped heads all the time. It was probably the most stressful time in my life. And actually, when I left home and was living on the streets, ironically, I felt at peace. A friend of mine had a probation officer that he was talking to, and he was a ward of the state and he had just found a new place to stay at some state-run facility. And since I didn’t have any place to stay, I was asking if it’d be possible for me to stay at that place. And he was like, ‘no, you have to be a ward of the state. But there’s a wonderful place on the Near West Side called Mercy Home for Boys,’ – there weren’t any girls at the time. And I was like, ‘a boys home? Why would I want to live in a boys home?’ I didn’t have anywhere else to turn, and one day I just walked over there just to see what it was like. And the day I walked over there to see what it was like was the day I walked through the door, and I stayed until I graduated out of college.”

Favorite part about Mercy Home’s mission:
“It’s family. It’s very personal to me, anybody that knows me knows. I know it’s called Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, but it was the only home I knew after I left home. And the cool part is, you always get a welcoming mat rolled out whenever you come back, which is how you should feel when you come back home.”

Proudest accomplishment:
“My three children, with my wife that I met and married after college. And we actually got married at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls up in the chapel 25 years ago, and we did a wedding vow renewal there as well. I told my wife about it and she was elated, and it just made sense to me that if we did this here 25 years ago, and Fr. Close married us, Fr. Scott will do the renewal, and I love both of those guys.”

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