Richard J. Daley

In April 1955 he took a sleepy, “nothing is happening” city and refused to let the rust-belt predictions of the times threaten for even another day. He generated a “can-do” mindset, enlisted corporate and labor leaders and made “no little plans.”

Richard L. Curry, Corporation Counsel City of Chicago 1970-1974, excerpt from written statement, November 10, 2014

Man on Five

Learn about the various roles Richard J. Daley filled as Mayor of Chicago and what it was like to work with him.

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City That Works

Learn how Richard J. Daley’s administration ensured the provision of everyday services to Chicagoans and how he oversaw the city’s development.

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Good Government Is Good Politics

Learn about Richard J. Daley’s role as a leader in the Democratic Party.

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A Changing Society

Chicago confronts twentieth-century challenges.

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Friends, family, and former colleagues remember the mayor.

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Read biographies and interview transcripts.

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About this site

Each of the above images introduces you to the themes of the Remembering Richard J. Daley exhibit. The exhibit uses photographs, excerpts from oral history interviews, and video and audio clips about Richard J. Daley, one of the most powerful politicians in United States history. Daley was mayor of Chicago during a time when the city was challenged and energized by racial inequalities, job and population losses, decaying infrastructure, and financial decline. In Remembering Richard J. Daley, the mayor’s colleagues, friends, and family recall and evaluate these exciting and turbulent years. They offer their unique insight into Daley’s administration of the city from 1955 to 1976 and his role as head of the Cook County Democratic Party from 1953 to 1976.