Thomas Cunningham was the chairman of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) from 1983 to 1984. Cunningham was also a pit trader of corn futures at the CBOT. He passed away on August 20, 2012, at the age of 74 from lung cancer. 
Cunningham started trading in the late 1960s, borrowing money from his wife's family to buy a CBOT floor membership. After years on the floor, he was appointed chairman of the CBOT in 1983, overseeing the introduction of options contracts on crop futures. He was seen as a mentor to many younger traders.
Cunningham received a law degree from DePaul University and is a graduate of Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Ill.