Man on Five
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For all his national influence, the focus of Daley’s life and career was Chicago.
My mind was boggled by the knowledge that this man had. He had been the mayor for twenty-one years. He knew every neighborhood like he lived there. I can’t emphasize that enough, because it’s impressed on my mind.
Frank Reilly, associate at Daley’s law firm, interview excerpt, July 20, 2010
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I was thirty-one when I was elected as the lieutenant governor. Before I went down to take the oath, I went to him and said, “Mr. Mayor, you’ve seen the whole thing. In a lot of ways, I’m just getting started. So if it’s not presumptuous, I’d like to ask you if you have any advice you could give me on how to handle things.” He said, “Neil, don’t forget where you came from.” And that was it. He was talking about values. He wasn’t talking about Rogers Park, or Bridgeport. He was talking about values.
Neil Hartigan, Illinois Lieutenant Governor 1973-1977, interview excerpt, February 19, 2009
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He said there were two jobs in the United States. Those were the President of the United States and the Mayor of Chicago.
Patricia Daley-Martino, daughter of Richard J. Daley, interview excerpt, June 12, 2002
Quite frequently, Kennedy would call and talk to him. Then he’d have him go there. He offered Dick a position in Washington, right away. But Dick said no, he’d rather stay in Chicago.
Eleanor Daley, wife of Richard J. Daley, interview excerpt, February 5, 2003
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If you didn’t come from Chicago, he didn’t want any part of you. He was completely Chicago….You couldn’t complain. Like you’d say, “What a lousy day.” “What’s the matter with it? It’s a wonderful day.” Everything was wonderful in Chicago. I mean, you couldn’t complain about anything, even the weather.
Father Gilbert Graham, Daley family friend, interview excerpt, November 17, 2003