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Richard Joseph Daley

Daley, Richard Joseph, 1902–76, U.S. political leader, b. Chicago. Admitted to the bar in 1933, he entered politics and served as a Democrat in the state assembly (1936–38) and the state senate (1939–46) and as director of revenues for Illinois (1949–50) before being elected (1955) mayor of Chicago. His long tenure both as mayor and as chairman (from 1953) of the Cook County Democratic party enabled him to build an extremely powerful political machine. Although often accused of unscrupulous political practices, Daley proved to be an efficient administrator. He achieved national notoriety in 1968 when Chicago police used brutal tactics to subdue demonstrators during the Democratic National Convention.

See M. Royko, Boss (1971); E. Kennedy, Himself (1978); F. Sullivan, Legend (1989); A. Cohen and E. Taylor, American Pharoah (2000).

His son Richard Michael Daley, 1942–, b. Chicago, followed in his father's footsteps as an Illinois politician. After serving as state's attorney for Cook County, he became mayor of Chicago in 1989. Chicago's longest serving mayor, he was reelected in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007 before he retired in 2011.

See biography by K. Koeneman (2013).

His younger son, William Michael Daley, 1948–, b. Chicago, is a lawyer who served as special counsel to President Bill Clinton on the North American Free Trade Agreement (1993) and as secretary of commerce (1997–2000). He was chairman of Vice President Al Gore's unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2000 and later was president (2001–4) of SBC Communications before becoming a member of the executive committee at J. P. Morgan Chase & Co. He also served (2011–12) as White House chief of staff under President Obama.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies


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