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UIC Opens Collection Featuring Thousands Of Items From Richard J. Daley

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Inside a new UIC research center of materials from former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley. (Credit: CBS)

Inside a new UIC research center of materials from former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley. (Credit: CBS)

Mike Parker Mike Parker
Mike Parker has been a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — He was the original Mayor Daley…Richard J…Chicago’s mayor during three decades. Now thanks to a newly opened research center at UIC, scholars and researchers can learn even more about this colorful character, reports CBS 2’s Mike Parker.

A 1960 note from John F Kennedy, thanking Richard J. Daley for his help in winning the presidential nomination. A painting of Daley and wife “Sis” inspired by Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Chicago in the 50’s. These are just some of the thousands of new items now housed at the Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Wednesday night, Daley sons Richard M., Bill and John and others in the clan, along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel helped dedicate the newly discovered artifacts that light up the life and work of a kingmaker and builder of a great city.

In 1968, the then mayor was asked if he thought of himself as tough. “I wouldn’t say tough,” Daley said, “but my mother and father taught me, never back down.”

When CBS 2 asked the most recent Mayor Daley what he learned from his father, he painted a softer picture. “Get disappointed, never get mad, and respect your opponents. You may differ with them but life goes on. If people make a mistake and we do make mistakes, it’s how you correct them that makes a difference.”

Although Mayor Emanuel spent only a few moments at the ceremony with his predecessor, he was eager to praise the first Mayor Daley.

Said Emanuel, “I believe Chicago is the most American of American cities and Mayor Richard J. Daley is the most American of big city mayors.”

The younger Mayor Daley summed up his father’s political success by saying, “He never had fancy polls or focus groups, and he went to every wake.”

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