Friday, November 25, 2011

Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago...
I join the people in the City of Chicago who mourn the loss of Maggie Daley. The former first lady died yesterday. Her family was with her. It was after all, Thanksgiving Day.

Though I no longer claim Chicago as my home, the city of my birth will always have a special place in my heart as it is where some my most deeply-rooted influences began.

I never had the pleasure of meeting Maggie Daley, but much of what was known about her indicated that she was a good, loving woman who cared deeply about her family and others. Her charity work is well documented. Her influence on her husband, Rich Daley, who I have had the pleasure to meet, was evident. I'm sure he would admit he was a better man because he loved her.

Rich Daley has had his critics; it went with the territory. I was not one of them. People either hated him or loved him. I was among the latter group. I found him to be genuine, honest, emotional, and driven by that which inspired him.

I met him during the early 1990's, when he and I were on the same side of the fight against a Peotone Airport. I was always impressed by him, his simple understanding of complex issues, the power he wielded only when absolutely necessary, his intellect, and his cunning. Rich Daley was a leader, not just locally, but nationally as well. When he spoke, people listened.

As has been said so many times in recent hours, Maggie Daley was the woman behind the man with an influence that is obvious in every part of the city the two of them reigned for so many years.

My heart goes out to Rich Daley and his entire family. I can only imagine the loss they must feel.
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