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A true American success story, Peraica was born in Croatia in 1957, and was orphaned at the age of 11. He came to the United States when he was 13. He attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he earned his B.A., and went on to earn his law degree from the John Marshall Law School. He was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1984, and continues to work as a lawyer in private practice at Anthony J. Peraica & Associates. As an underdog candidate, he was elected to the Cook County Board of Commissioners in 2002 as a Republican. Peraica was a member of the alliance of mostly-freshman commissioners that defeated Stroger