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Richard M. Daley

One of the most powerful and influential of America's big-city mayors, Richard M. Daley served six terms as Chicago's mayor. First elected in 1989, Daley was the longest-serving mayor in Chicago history, eclipsing the record set by his father, mentor and role model, the late Mayor Richard J. Daley. Richard M. Daley chose not to run for re-election in the 2011 campaign.

A former state legislator and Cook County state's attorney, Daley built a multiethnic, multiracial coalition that kept him in power, even as the strength and influence of the once legendary county Democratic machine waned. Daley worked to revamp and improve the city's public school system, overhauled public housing an...
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One of the most powerful and influential of America's big-city mayors, Richard M. Daley served six terms as Chicago's mayor. First elected in 1989, Daley was the longest-serving mayor in Chicago history, eclipsing the record set by his father, mentor and role model, the late Mayor Richard J. Daley. Richard M. Daley chose not to run for re-election in the 2011 campaign.

A former state legislator and Cook County state's attorney, Daley built a multiethnic, multiracial coalition that kept him in power, even as the strength and influence of the once legendary county Democratic machine waned. Daley worked to revamp and improve the city's public school system, overhauled public housing and invested heavily in the city's infrastructure in projects ranging from Millennium Park to the expansion of O'Hare International Airport. He also launched a beautification effort that included wrought-iron fencing on public properties and installation of planters, trees and landscaping citywide. Daley's time at the helm also was marked by federal investigations that uncovered contracting irregularities and what prosecutors called "massive fraud" in hiring and promotions designed to reward political loyalists. A top aide was sentenced to prison in the personnel scheme.
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  • Letters to the editor

    Next mayor faces 'horrendous' financial mess
  • 3 debates, 1 takeaway: Only Emanuel is ready to manage this Chicago crisis

    3 debates, 1 takeaway: Only Emanuel is ready to manage this Chicago crisis
    WTTW's Phil Ponce framed Tuesday night's debate perfectly: How would each candidate for mayor change the trajectory of Chicago's desperate finances? We learned a few things. Challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia put a number on one revenue source he favors:...

    The math works for Rahm's pension fix, but not the politics

    The math works for Rahm's pension fix, but not the politics
    Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been complaining on the campaign trail about the "dual taxation" of city residents, stating at last week's debate that "Chicago is the only municipality that pays twice for teachers' pensions: one for our teachers and the one for...

    Old-school aldermen try to hold on in runoffs

    Old-school aldermen try to hold on in runoffs
    Chicago's ward politics have long been synonymous with the city's vaunted Democratic Party apparatus, even as the federal courts have dismantled the patronage job system in recent years. Now several aldermanic races feature candidates hoping to weaken the...

    Chicago Mayor Kennelly honored a half-century after his death — in suburbia

     Chicago Mayor Kennelly honored a half-century after his death — in suburbia
    In the early 1960s, a Chicago alderman proposed naming what is now the Eisenhower Expressway after former Mayor Martin H. Kennelly, whose name nowadays may not be as recognizable as Daley or Emanuel, but who led the city from 1947 to 1955. The effort...