Judge Gerald “Jerry” Whalen was the third of seven children born to Helen and Jerry Whalen in Buffalo in 1956.

He graduated from Canisius College in 1979, the first in his family to go beyond a high school education. During college, Judge Whalen supported himself with various jobs – doing piece work in the machine shop at the Eastman Machine Company, working as a laborer at General Mills, and painting houses.

After spending one year in an administrative position at the Office of the Erie County District Attorney after college, he enrolled in what is now known as the University at Buffalo School of Law, graduating in the Spring of 1983.

In his final year, he was awarded the Robert J. Connelly Award for excellence in trial practice.


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