A National Mayor

Man on Five

1 of 13

He ran the city. And many times, he ran the state. There are some people that think he elected a president, Kennedy.

Ben W. Heineman, businessman, public servant, and friend of Richard J. Daley, interview excerpt, October 22, 2003

Daley’s influence extended beyond Chicago. He participated annually in the United States Conference of Mayors, serving as president of the organization from 1959 to 1960, and he advised U.S. presidents and other policymakers.

 

Richard J. Daley with a group of mayors from other cities, ca. 1960s. Photo: Chic Photos. RJD_04_01_0017_0004_011

Richard J. Daley with a group of mayors from other cities, ca. 1960s. Photo: Chic Photos. RJD_04_01_0017_0004_011

2 of 13

Daley family arrival at Hilo, Hawaii airport for the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Also included are Helene H. Hale, Hawaii County Chairman and Glenn Oda, Pres. of Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, 1963. RJD_04_01_0048_0009_005

Daley family arrival at Hilo, Hawaii airport for the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Also included are Helene H. Hale, Hawaii County Chairman and Glenn Oda, Pres. of Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, 1963. RJD_04_01_0048_0009_005

I also remember traveling, going to Washington…. When they had the conference of mayors, we went there. The conference of mayors was always in the summer. … And those were great. We went to Hawaii one year. And that year was the year, the summer before Kennedy was assassinated, we saw him out there. He stopped and spoke to all of us. That was the last time we saw him. That was the last time my dad saw him. But going to Washington, he’d go out on urban issues for the city. He was fighting for city causes along with other big city mayors…. But anyway, the respect that they had for him, not just from the Illinois delegation, but all around.

John Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, interview excerpt, May 9, 2007

3 of 13

Robert Kennedy at podium during White House Regional Conference. Richard J. Daley is on left, January 18, 1962. Photo: Official Photograph Housing and Home Finance Agency, Office of Public Affairs. RJD_04_01_0021_0008_001

Robert Kennedy at podium during White House Regional Conference. Richard J. Daley is on left, January 18, 1962. Photo: Official Photograph Housing and Home Finance Agency, Office of Public Affairs. RJD_04_01_0021_0008_001

4 of 13

Former President Harry Truman shaking hands with Richard J. Daley. Truman inscribed this photo, "A most pleasant meeting with a great mayor." RJD_04_01_0044_0007_001

Former President Harry Truman shaking hands with Richard J. Daley. Truman inscribed this photo, “A most pleasant meeting with a great mayor.” RJD_04_01_0044_0007_001

 Harry Truman came in one Saturday. And he came in by himself. And he was staying over at the Sherman, I guess. Vince Leddy was the policeman’s name at the desk, and he came back and he said to me, “You won’t believe who’s here.” And I said, “Who?” He said, “Truman.” I said, “Well, bring him in.” Vince Leddy was sitting at the desk reading something, and Truman came in, had a cane, hit him on the head and said, “Young man, is your mayor in?” So of course the mayor was. “Bring him in, you know, right away.”

Kay Quinlan, Richard J. Daley’s Personal Secretary, interview excerpt, August 7, 2014

 

5 of 13

As mayor, Daley maintained contact with each sitting president, sometimes advising them on important matters.

Eleanor Daley presents Mamie Eisenhower with a bouquet of flowers at the airport.

Eleanor Daley presents Mamie Eisenhower with a bouquet of flowers at the airport. Also present are Richard J. Daley, Mrs. Stratton, Governor Stratton, President Dwight Eisenhower, and others. RJD_04_01_0045_0009_001

 

6 of 13

President John F. Kennedy motorcade greeted by 11th Ward delegation in downtown Chicago

President John F. Kennedy motorcade greeted by 11th Ward delegation in downtown Chicago, ca. 1961-1963. Photo: Ted Sorich. RJD_04_01_0046_0013_005

7 of 13

Mayor Daley and President Lyndon Baines Johnson

 He liked the mayor. He called the mayor for advice. The mayor would never ask for anything personal. He’d ask for things for the city. And I don’t think that if it was within his control and within his power to do it, I don’t think he’d ever say no to him. But the mayor was a wise and prudent person. He never wore out his welcome.

Ray Simon, Corporation Counsel City of Chicago 1965-1969, interview excerpt, June 30, 2010

President Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard J. Daley at the airport

President Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard J. Daley at the airport, ca. 1960s. RJD_04_01_0046_0010_015

He knew Johnson. He was closer in age to Johnson. And he had tremendous respect for Johnson in the sense of how he was able to pass legislation. And he had a concern with Kennedy that many times, people in Kennedy’s cabinet tried to take Congress on, rather than working with them. And then when Johnson became president, he said, “I will work with you. The delegation will work with you.” But he respected Johnson. He was able to accomplish things on his own, and passed many things Kennedy was unable to pass. It was because they had sort of an attitude against Congress, which we mentioned earlier about the university, towards my dad – I think some of the people around Kennedy, not himself, thought that they did not need the Congressional leadership. And they found out very quickly that their bills went down in defeat.

John Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, interview excerpt, May 9, 2007

8 of 13

Film footage of a visit from President Lyndon B. Johnson to Chicago. Click on image to play video.

Video: “LBJ in Chicago” (no sound), RJD_04_02_0000_0000_209

9 of 13

President Lyndon B. Johnson wearing checked shirt and cowboy hat, inscription reads, "To Sis and Dick Daley, Devoted friends and two of the most noble public servants that I have known, with affection and respect, Lyndon B. Johnson," 1972. RJD_04_01_0052_0022_014

President Lyndon B. Johnson wearing checked shirt and cowboy hat, inscription reads, “To Sis and Dick Daley, Devoted friends and two of the most noble public servants that I have known, with affection and respect, Lyndon B. Johnson,” 1972. RJD_04_01_0052_0022_014

10 of 13

Mayor Richard J. Daley was the only Democrat invited to this meeting of Nixon cabinet members at the White House

Mayor Richard J. Daley was the only Democrat invited to this meeting of Nixon cabinet members at the White House, 1969. Photo: Official Photograph White House. RJD_04_01_0052_0007_001

We were walking one day from church and we were going up to meet President Nixon at O’Hare Field and he looked at me and he says, “What time do we have to be up there?” And I said, “Air Force One should be at O’Hare, at the hangar there at ten o’clock Mr. Mayor.” He said, “Fine.” Then he said, “You know Vince, people might not respect the man, but you have to always respect the office.” That says a lot. That’s when he had all the Watergate issues. That was probably one of the biggest scandals in those days of politics in Washington. So the mayor says, “He’s the President of the United States and I’m going to greet him.” Other things aside, he didn’t back off. He didn’t say he’s got problems. Everybody needs a friend when they have problems.

Vince Gavin, Security Chief for Richard J. Daley, interview excerpt, July 19, 2014

 

11 of 13

President Gerald Ford speaks with Richard J. Daley, 1974. RJD_04_01_0053_0002_001

President Gerald Ford speaks with Richard J. Daley, 1974. RJD_04_01_0053_0002_001

12 of 13

Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter, Amy Carter, Rosalyn Carter, Richard J. Daley, and others standing in front of the Marina Towers in Chicago, 1976. RJD_04_01_0053_0011_001

Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter, Amy Carter, Rosalyn Carter, Richard J. Daley, and others standing in front of the Marina Towers in Chicago, 1976. RJD_04_01_0053_0011_001