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City of Big ShouldersA History of Chicago$
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Robert G. Spinney

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749599

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749599.001.0001

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Richard J. Daley and the City That Works, 1955–1976

Richard J. Daley and the City That Works, 1955–1976

(p.196) Chapter 11 Richard J. Daley and the City That Works, 1955–1976
City of Big Shoulders

Robert G. Spinney

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on Richard J. Daley, who was elected mayor of Chicago in 1955 and won re-election in the city's next five mayoral contests. It describes Daley as the undisputed boss of Chicago and the man who perfected the Cook County Democratic Party machine. It analyzes why Daley might have been the best in American history at doing what he did, in which he used a political machine to govern a large city. The chapter investigates how Daley was a scrupulously honest politician who steered clear of financial and moral improprieties but failed to adjust to the changing realities of Chicago, especially those relating to its growing black population. It also recounts Daley's death in 1976 that marked the passing of an era in Chicago history.

Keywords:   Richard J. Daley, Chicago, elected mayor, Cook County Democratic Party machine, political machine, black population

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