Richard Joseph Daley (May 15, 1902 – December 20, 1976) was the Mayor of Chicago for 21 years and chairman of the Cook County Democratic Central Committee for 23 years, holding both positions until his death in office in 1976. Daley was Chicago's third Chicago Mayor in a row from the working-class, heavily Irish American Bridgeport neighborhood on Chicago's South Side, where he lived his entire life.
He is remembered for doing much to avoid the declines that some other "rust belt" cities like Cleveland, Buffalo and Detroit experienced during the same period. He had a strong base of support in Chicago's Irish Catholic community, and he was treated by national politicians such as Lyndon B. Johnson as a pre-eminent Irish American, with special connections to the Kennedy family. He played a major role in the history of the Democratic Party, especially with his support of John F. Kennedy in 1960 and of Hubert Humphrey in 1968.
Daley's three sons followed him into politics. His son Richard M. Daley became mayor of Chicago in 1989 and served until 2012, breaking his father's record for longest serving mayor of Chicago. Son William M. Daley is a former United States Secretary of Commerce and White House Chief of Staff. Son John P. Daley is a member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners and served in the Illinois State Legislature.
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