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Daley Reflects On First Year Of Retirement

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Former Mayor Richard M. Daley talks about his first year of retirement, after speaking at a trade show at the Merchandise Mart on June 11, 2012. Daley left office in May 2011, after 22 years as mayor of Chicago. (Credit: CBS)

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley talks about his first year of retirement, after speaking at a trade show at the Merchandise Mart on June 11, 2012. Daley left office in May 2011, after 22 years as mayor of Chicago. (Credit: CBS)

Dorothy Tucker Dorothy Tucker
Dorothy Tucker has served as a reporter for CBS 2 Chicago since 1984....
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CHICAGO (CBS) – More than a year after leaving office, Richard M. Daley reflected on his time as mayor on Monday, and spoke about missing his late wife Maggie, missing everyday people, and even missing the media who covered him for almost a quarter century as mayor.

Daley was the keynote speaker Monday morning at NeoCon 2012, a furniture and interior design exposition at the Merchandise Mart.

CBS 2′s Dorothy Tucker reports the title of mayor might be gone, but Daley is still a highly sought-after representative of the city he once ran. Speaking engagements are on a long list of how Daley spends his time these days.

“I’m always up early, and so of course I work out. And then, I’m with the Katten (Muchin Rosenman LLP) law firm, which I really respect, and we just opened up an office in Shanghai,” Daley said. “So I keep busy with lecturing at the University of Chicago, (and serving on) the Coca-Cola board.”

It’s a full schedule, though not as hectic as the six or seven days a week he worked as mayor, which he admitted he sometimes misses.

“What I miss most as Mayor after 22 years, is that Saturday exposure to the real people of the city of Chicago,” Daley said of his regular Saturday appearances at various community events in Chicago, such as anti-violence marches. “These people are extraordinary; fighting gangs, guns and drugs.”

Asked what else he misses about his time as mayor, Daley jokingly said, “the press.”

Without the press jamming microphones and cameras in his face on a regular basis, everyday people get a chance to take pictures.

Daley appeared happy and relaxed.

He said he’s in good health, and he voluntarily talked briefly about life without his wife of 41 years.

“Of course I miss Maggie,” Daley said. “I met people in 22 years in this city, they’re exceptional people. So, I keep in contact in so many different ways with them. I think that’s what makes Chicago so great, its people.”

NeoCon is the country’s largest contract furniture trade show for businesses. It runs through Wednesday at the Merchandise Mart.

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