Introduction

Introduction

Introduction Man on Five View all topics for “Man on Five” > 1 of 5 During Richard J. Daley’s tenure as mayor, Chicagoans learned that to get something done in the city, you needed to talk to the “man on five.” From his office on the fifth floor of City Hall, Daley responded to the countless letters and memoranda that landed on his desk each day. He managed scores of city departments and programs that made the city function and created and monitored the city’s vast budget. Dignitaries, aldermen, commissioners, and other public servants made the trip to the fifth floor to pay their respects, plead their cases, and report on their successes and failures. A short elevator ride brought the mayor to the city council chambers, where he presided over a largely supportive group of aldermen. He was a hands-on mayor who reveled in his work and celebrated his city. From his day-to-day life as mayor to his working relationship with some of the leading national politicians of his day, Daley’s family, friends, and former colleagues reflect on what it was like to witness firsthand his distinctive leadership style. 2 of 5 He was in the general assembly. He was the minority leader in the senate. He was the Director of Revenue for the State of Illinois. He was the Cook County Clerk. Then he was the Mayor of Chicago. Whatever it took to make things happen in the government, he knew how to make it happen. He was the one who created the structure for the City of Chicago. Thomas Donovan, Administrative Assistant to Mayor Richard J....
Governing the City

Governing the City

Governing the City Man on Five View all topics for “Man on Five” > 1 of 9 He saw government and public service as the way to accomplish something. It wasn’t a means to make wealth as the private sector is. It was the means to do something for somebody else. Sure, there’s an ego in it. Yes, there is success. You move up. You’re a county clerk, then you become the mayor. That’s fine. But he taught us by both example and in word that you can do things in government that you can’t do in the private sector, and people in the private sector don’t do. They don’t look out for the little guy. They don’t look out for the greater good. William Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, interview excerpt, December 5, 2008 2 of 9 I think he brought, Mayor Daley, the original Mayor Daley, brought to the city a sense of pride and leadership when it came to the infrastructure and building the city, and the vision of the city that we’re still profiting from. This is a great American city. I happen to think it’s the greatest, and not just because I represent it. But managing to balance all of the different elements within the city—ethnic elements, religious elements and the like—I thought that really took a special skill. Richard J. Durbin, United States Senator, interview excerpt, September 8, 2014 3 of 9 Former Mayor of Atlanta, Andrew Young, discusses what he calls Mayor Daley’s “political courage.” Click on image to play video. Video: Andrew Young, Mayor of Atlanta, interview excerpt, October 16,...
At the Office

At the Office

At the Office Man on Five View all topics for “Man on Five” > 1 of 8 The mayor was never one who drank coffee at his desk. He never ate at his desk. City Hall was for business. He had a schedule where he ran appointments fifteen minutes to half an hour. He had a very heavy schedule every day. He was such a brilliant man. He almost never wrote anything down. He remembered what people wanted. Thomas Donovan, Administrative Assistant to Richard J. Daley, interview excerpt, April 2, 2009   2 of 8 My guess is that if my grandfather were alive today, he would not be a fan of casual Fridays. Courtney Thompson, granddaughter of Richard J. Daley, interview excerpt, August 5, 2002   His discipline was beyond belief. He was just spot on everything. He was just always—we used to say if the mayor’s house burned down he’d come out in a suit. Vince Gavin, Security Chief for Richard J. Daley, interview except, July 19, 2014   3 of 8 I think that all good political leaders understand that there’s a bit of theater to life. And he understood that. William Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, interview excerpt, December 5, 2008   4 of 8 During his time as mayor and in his public life, he held more press conferences than any other mayor. He was accessible every day. I mean, it was unbelievable. People said how he would be hiding out and things like that. He was more accessible to the press. Michael Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, interview excerpt, July 26,...
Working for the Mayor

Working for the Mayor

Working for the Mayor Man on Five View all topics for “Man on Five” > 1 of 7 You had a direct relationship. There was no in-between. Several of the subsequent mayors have had layers of administration. With Daley, it was direct, one on one. Jerome Butler, City Architect, interview excerpt, July 8, 2002 2 of 7   I just think that Daley went in and, to many people’s surprise, he appointed young, professorial type people to key positions. And he relied on them….They weren’t all, ‘Yes men.’ They were people who were unique in their fields and in their professions. Richard Elrod, Chief Prosecutor for City of Chicago, interview excerpt, April 10, 2009     That’s not a field you’re going into to get rich. He was able to convince some people, who obviously became financially more successful in many cases, to make some sacrifices and work for this cause….There was this unique, charismatic leadership about him that just drew people to him and made them want to win with him. Peter Thompson, grandson of Richard J. Daley, June 11, 2002 He always called me Joe when he was happy with me. He normally called me Commissioner, and if he was really mad at me he’d call me Mr. Fitzgerald. Joseph Fitzgerald, Chicago Building Commissioner, interview excerpt, July 24, 2014   3 of 7 So he’d keep pounding away at whatever the problems were and trying to bring in new ideas. He was susceptible to new ideas, if they were good ideas, no matter who gave them to him, even if it was the guy who was the...
Budget, Banking, and Business

Budget, Banking, and Business

Budget, Banking, and Business Man on Five View all topics for “Man on Five” > 1 of 4 Daley brought financial skills to the job.  I felt that he was always prepared. He wasn’t just perfunctory about doing anything. It was not that he read through every prospectus of every one of our bonds. But he met with the people who did it and he got from them what he needed to know. He would make use of them making his decisions. He was always well advised and tried to be well advised. He had a lot of great advisors. John Weithers, Public Building Commission Member, interview excerpt, October 7, 2003    Mayor Daley knew more about the budget than any of us did in the budget office. The mayor was the former Director of Revenue for the State of Illinois. He was the Cook County Clerk who, at the time, did the county budget. So he was in charge of the county budget and the Department of Revenue. So when he became the mayor, he knew about the budget just as well as anybody. And he was also, I’ll word it very carefully, he was very frugal with the city money. He kept his salary at thirty-five thousand dollars, which allowed the department heads – every year we’d get a small increase. But because we were pushing thirty five thousand . . . as long as he never had his salary increased, we could never go higher than his. But that was the mayor. He always looked out for the taxpayers. Ed Bedore, City Budget Director, interview excerpt,...