Dick Simpson has uniquely combined a distinguished academic career with public service in government. In his first campaign for political office in 1971, he surprised political observers and won election as Chicago's 44th Alderman, despite a well-financed opponent with an army of precinct captains. Dick Simpson served the 44th Ward for two terms before voluntarily retiring in 1979. He led the opposition block against Mayors Richard J. Daley and Michael Bilandic.
He has published widely, been an outstanding teacher, and affected public policy. He began his academic career at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1967 where he has taught for 44 years He is currently Professor and Department Head of the Department of Political Science at UIC.