I Remember Mayor Daley…

Excerpt from the three-hour documentary, Daley, about Richard J. Daley, the 48th Mayor of Chicago. Various prominent Chicago politicians and family members speak of Daley's character, work ethic, and powerful influence during his reign as Mayor of Chicago from 1955 to 1976. Harold Washington, Jane Byrne, Michael Bilandic, various members of the Daley family, John Hoellen, Irv Kupcinet, Bill Singer, and Leon Despres are all included in this video.

00:00Copy video clip URL Title screen: “I Remember Mayor Daley…”

00:09Copy video clip URL Fade into a shot of then Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. Washington eloquently describes what Daley was like as mayor of Chicago. “Daley was in a business. He treated me as a business person. He would treat people as a business, that’s the way he treated most people… nothing personal about it. That’s the way he functioned. That’s the way he operated. He was the consummate politician. He was the quintessence of a political figure.” Washington goes into a little more in depth about Daley’s character, labeling him a loner. “He struck me as a person who you could like if you got to know. But I dare say very few people knew him. … Very few people knew this man. He was a loner.” Washington goes on to make an interesting observation that most powerful politicians who have a good amount of integrity and character tend to keep to themselves quite a bit. He refers to Daley being a “part of that group.” Washington also says that he wishes he could have known Daley a little bit better and believes that history will treat Daley well. “I would think that his legacy is a positive one in terms of a high standard of activity, if you don’t get into particulars. His legacy was important in that he was clearly an honest man. He wasn’t responsible for the chicanery and dishonesty and the institutional corruption which grew up around him. That was not his responsibility, but it grew, it grew, and it grew. I don’t think he had any role to play with it. I’m pretty certain that so far as individual corruption, he abhored it. … He was an interesting character. I’m pretty certain history’s going to treat him well.”

02:23Copy video clip URL Cut to former Mayor Jane Byrne speaking about her working with Daley as co-chairperson of the Democratic party. Byrne describes how Daley had supported her throughout her time as co-chairperson, and recalls a time in which Daley had her preside over the meeting of the central committee, which set the stage for her rise to power in Chicago.

05:07Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of former Mayor Michael Bilandic speaking quite highly of Daley. Bilandic expresses his admiration for Daley and refers to him as “one of the great thinkers and philosophers of our time.” Bilandic solemnly talks about his hopes for his son to meet and learn from another Richard J. Daley of some sort. “And I do hope that my son, no matter what kind of an education he’s going to get, and the way it looks, he’ll have all of the advantages that money will be able to offer him. But, all the money in the world is not going to buy you an opportunity to have that kind of a relationship. And I hope that some place out there, there is a Richard J. Daley that will come into the life of my son and be able to communicate to him the things that Richard J. Daley had been able to communicate to me. And if there’s a way that I can make a down payment on that today, just show me where it is and how much it costs and I’ll mortgage everything I have to see that he gets that opportunity.”

06:51Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of a Daley pin. There is a short break in the tape before an interview with the Daley family begins. John Callaway interviews Eleanor Daley, Richard J. Daley’s wife, and a few of the Daley children: Mary Carol, Mike Daley, future Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Pat Daley, and John Daley. Callaway first asks Pat Daley about a certain memory or moment that she cherishes about her father. She responds by talking about her father’s dependability in the family. Richard M. Daley and Mike Daley interject and discuss their father’s consistent availability to the children.

10:29Copy video clip URL Callaway asks the family about Daley’s morning routine. Eleanor Daley describes her husband’s morning exercises. Callaway then asks about what Daley liked to do for fun. Mary Carol discusses her father’s love for fishing. Richard M. Daley talks about his father’s love of the Chicago White Sox. Callaway then asks about Daley’s level of discipline with the children growing up. Pat Daley states that her father wasn’t much of a disciplinarian and emphasizes his difficulty in refusing his children. Eleanor Daley and Mike Daley go into a little more detail about Daley’s discipline as a father. The family goes on to talk about some of the experiences they had with Daley when he was Mayor of Chicago.

15:31Copy video clip URL Callaway asks the children whether or not they could talk to him about teenage relationship issues. Eleanor Daley states that she and her husband handled those types of issues with their children jointly. Mary Carol recalls the hilarity in her boyfriends having to deal with her four brothers, who tended to act as watch dogs when it came to the boys she dated. Callaway also asks whether the children received an allowance growing up. Pat Daley emphasizes her father’s strong belief in working and that the children were expected to work to get what they need.

17:10Copy video clip URL Callaway asks Pat Daley about her last memory of her father. She recounts her last memory and talks about her father’s constant need to be affectionate with his family. Eleanor Daley also talks about her last memory of her husband. Callaway then ends the interview and thanks the Daley family for sharing their memories.

19:40Copy video clip URL Black.

20:00Copy video clip URL A title screen for “I Remember Mayor Daley…” rolls once again.

20:08Copy video clip URL Fade into an interview with John Hoellen, former Republican Alderman from Chicago. Hoellen ran for mayor against Daley in 1975 and lost. Hoellen does not have many kind words for Daley and refers to him as “the Hitler that drove over the plains and scorched earth, and when it was all finished, there was no Republican party. None.” Daley had campaigned very hard against Hoellen in the 1975 election.

20:27Copy video clip URL Cut to Irv Kupcinet, prominent newspaper columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. Kupcinet states that Daley had the image of a dictator and talks about Daley’s power in Chicago politics. “Daley’s great forte was his persuasiveness. He was one of the most persuasive men I’ve ever met. On a one-on-one discussion, he could persuade people to do almost anything, and that was his real strength.” Kupcinet goes on to express his admiration for Daley’s power of persuasiveness.

21:06Copy video clip URL Fade into a shot of Alderman Bill Singer talking about running against Daley for Mayor in 1974. Singer had put forth a plan to create incentives for businesses to move into the Chicago area. Daley ended up repudiating the plan put forth in true Daley fashion. Singer expresses his respect for Daley’s repudiation. The story reflects Daley’s strong love for the city of Chicago.

22:53Copy video clip URL Cut to Leon Despres, a prominent Chicago politician who had been a source of opposition to the Daley machine throughout his years in office. Despres starts off by saying, “Daley is very much overrated as mayor of Chicago. He was really not a good mayor of Chicago. He was a very skillful party leader, and he was able to hold the party together, to administrate effectively, and to keep it from flying apart.” Despres goes even further to say that Daley was “vastly overrated” as Mayor and goes on to talk about his support for segregation in housing, schools, and various anti-black and anti-Hispanic employment segregation. Despres also talks about the corruption within Daley’s administration. “He riddled the city with patronage. He quintupled the number of patronage employees on the city payroll during his administration. He tolerated a large measure of corruption among the people who worked for him.” Despres goes on to say, “he [Daley] was warned of corruption and obviously knew what was going on and tolerated it.”

25:13Copy video clip URL Cut to shot of a Daley pin.

25:25Copy video clip URL Tape ends.



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