Richard M. Daley served as Mayor of Chicago for 22 years, from 1989 to 2011, and is the longest serving Mayor in the City of Chicago’s history. Daley joined Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP in June 2011 as Of Counsel to the firm, where he draws on his vast knowledge, experience and relationships globally to contribute to the continued growth of the firm.
During Daley's two decades as mayor, Chicago was transformed into a prominent player in the global economy. Standard & Poor’s now ranks the city among the world’s Top 10 Economic Centers, and in 2010 Foreign Policy magazine ranked Chicago number 6 among global cities worldwide. He earned a reputation—both in Chicago and around the world—for improving Chicago's quality of life, acting to improve public schools, strengthening its economy and helping Chicago become among the most environmentally friendly cities in the world.
A former state senator and county prosecutor, Daley was elected Mayor on April 4, 1989, to complete the term of the late Harold Washington. Daley was re-elected in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007.
Elected as State’s Attorney of Cook County in 1980, he was re-elected to that office in 1984 and 1988. During that time, he pushed successfully for tougher state narcotics laws and raised the conviction rate dramatically, helped overhaul Illinois’ antiquated rape laws to obtain more convictions, and developed programs to combat drunk driving, domestic violence and child support delinquencies.
Daley began his public service career in 1969, when he was elected to the Illinois Constitutional Convention. From 1972 to 1980, he served in the Illinois Senate, where he led the fight to remove the sales tax on food and medicine, sponsored landmark mental health legislation and established rights for nursing home residents.
Daley has received numerous public service awards. Among them: the National Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official from the American Institute for Public Service; the Education Excellence Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice; the Public Service Leadership Award from the National Council for Urban Economic Development; the J. Sterling Morton Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation; the Keystone Award from the American Architectural Foundation; the Martin Luther King/Robert F. Kennedy Award from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence/Educational Fund to End Handgun Violence; the Kevin Lynch Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; a Lifetime Achievement Award for support of the arts from Americans for the Arts and the US Conference of Mayors; the Catalyst Award for Urban Park Leadership from the Urban Parks Institute.
In 2011, Daley was appointed Distinguished Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, where he coordinates a guest lecture series that brings policymakers from around the globe to debate critical urban policy challenges and helps train future policy leaders at the University.
Daley was also appointed co-chair of President Barack Obama’s 100,000 Strong Initiative, which aims to increase dramatically the number and diversify the composition of American students studying in China as a means to enhance people-to-people ties between China and the United States.
Additionally, Daley was named senior advisor to JP Morgan Chase, where he chairs the new “Global Cities Initiative,” a joint project of JP Morgan Chase and the Brookings Institution, to help cities more effectively compete in the global economy. Daley has been chosen as a Harvard University Institute of Politics Visiting Fellow; serves on the Board of Directors of The Coca-Cola Company; is a co-chair of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Midwest Task Force on Immigration; and is a speaker with the Harry Walker Agency, which enables him to speak all over the world about leadership, his governing experience, and the challenges and opportunities facing urban cities in the 21st century.
Richard Michael Daley is the eldest son of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley and his wife, Eleanor. He graduated from De La Salle Academy and earned undergraduate and law degrees from DePaul University.
Daley has three children, Nora Daley Conroy, Patrick Daley and Elizabeth Daley, and three grandchildren, Margaret, Jack and Kevin. A son Kevin died in 1981 at the age of three of spina bifida. Daley’s wife of nearly 40 years, Maggie, a noted advocate for children and the arts, died in 2011 after a long battle with breast cancer.