Bear Pause: T.J. Gordon '94

T.J. Gordon Bear Pause

T.J. Gordon ’94 lives in Highland Park, Illinois. with his wife, Terri, daughter, Olivia (14), and son, Jack (12). He is a partner at international law firm Sidley Austin LLP. He remains a die-hard, and suffering, Minnesota Vikings fan.

Q: If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be?
A: Bill Murray (he is everyone’s first guest), Sacha Baron Cohen (the most brilliant comedian of our generation) and musical guest Bruce Springsteen.

Q: What book has influenced you greatly? How?
A: “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. I did not read this book until I was almost 40 years old. I was amazed at how it validated my ideas about human nature, society and self. 

Q: If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you spend it?
A: Playing tennis with my family.

Q: I was once mistaken for…
A: Antonio Banderas. Don’t you see the resemblance?

Q: If someone rented a billboard for you, what would you put on it?
A: Freedom Matters. The saddest part of the world today is that a majority of the world’s citizens do not live in a free society. So much human potential untapped.

Q: If you could live inside any sitcom, which one would it be?
A: “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” I’d play golf all day with Larry and Jeff, do something stupid on the way home and then get chewed out by Susie Green.

Q: When was the last time you were nervous?
A: Every single day when I go to work. A successful lawyer must be a little neurotic. The constant fear of “am I doing this right?” motivates me each day.

Q: What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
A: Bruce Springsteen, 2003 at new Comiskey Park in Chicago. My roommate at Yale turned me into a huge fan of the Boss, and this was my first outdoor stadium concert. My wife, then fiancé, Terri got the tickets through her work. It was a perfect summer evening. 

Q: What teacher inspired you the most? How?
A: There were so many great teachers at Blake, that I cannot narrow it to one. I’ll pick three: Jon Halpern, for teaching me that learning can be fun; Lee Woolman for teaching me how to write; and Paul Vetscher for showing me the beauty of mathematics.

Q: What's your favorite family tradition?
A: Family tennis. My daughter Olivia can already beat me. She’ll never beat my wife. 

Q: What is the best gift you have been given?
A: A beautiful wife and family.

Q: What do you miss most about being a kid?
A: The lack of responsibility.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: I still have a lot of my old baseball and football cards from childhood. My son Jack has gotten into the hobby and we bond over it.