UIC Special Collections and University Archives holds the papers of Martin H. Kennelly, who served as Chicago’s mayor from 1947 to 1955. During his time in office, Kennelly gained a reputation for honesty and for running a businesslike administration.

Portrait of Mayor Martin Kennelly

Martin Kennelly, ca. 1950s. RJD_04_01_0009_0007_014

Kennelly maintained ties with his fellow Democrats nationally and locally.

Mayor Martin Kennelly speaks at a Truman campaign event, ca. 1948

Mayor Martin Kennelly speaks at a Truman campaign event, ca. 1948. RJD_04_01_0001_0012_005

11th Ward Picnic, Richard J. Daley and Martin Kennelly, August 21, 1949

11th Ward Picnic, Richard J. Daley and Martin Kennelly, August 21, 1949. RJD_04_01_0002_0010_007

Mayor Martin Kennelly, Richard J. Daley, and John Mortimer display newspapers after the mayor's re-election

Mayor Martin Kennelly, Richard J. Daley, and John Mortimer display newspapers after the mayor’s re-election, 1951. RJD_04_01_0010_0002_009

In 1955, Richard J. Daley, who was Cook County Clerk at the time, ran against Kennelly for the Democratic Party’s nomination for mayor. Kennelly lost, and Daley went on to win the mayor’s race that year.

In his inaugural address, Daley thanked the outgoing mayor:

I want to express the appreciation and admiration which I know all the people of Chicago have for the administration of Martin Kennelly. He will always be remembered as a mayor who made important contributions to his city.

The Martin H. Kennelly Papers holds more than 130 linear feet of materials and consists primarily of speeches, correspondence, and newspaper clippings from Kennelly’s three mayoral campaigns and his eight years in office. The collection is open to the public and researchers may access them by visiting UIC Special Collections and University Archives in the Richard J. Daley Library.

Sources consulted

Daley, Richard J. “Inaugural Address of Richard J. Daley, Mayor.” Richard J. Daley Collection, Special Collections and University Archives. Series 1, subseries 1, box 21, folder 4.

Martin H. Kennelly Papers, finding aid. <https://findingaids.library.uic.edu/sc/MSKenn77.xml>. Accessed January 17, 2019.

Richard J. Daley Era Photographs (University of Illinois at Chicago). CARLI digital collections. <http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/uic_rjdaley>. Accessed January 17, 2019.