Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

How To Be A Mayor

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    NEWSLETTERS

    What does it take to become mayor of Chicago? Here’s a look at what the city’s mayors did before taking office, going back to shortly after the Civil War, when Chicago grew in prominence as a city and the mayor’s office went from civic post to political office.

    • Rahm Emanuel: White House chief of staff, congressman
    • Richard M. Daley: Cook County state’s attorney, state senator, delegate to the 1970 constitutional convention
    • Harold Washington: congressman, state senator, state representative
    • Jane Byrne: Director, Chicago Department of Consumer Affairs
    • Richard J. Daley: Cook County Clerk, director of Illinois Department of Finance, state senator, state representative
    • Martin Kennelly: President, Lincoln Park Zoo
    • Anton Cermak: President, Cook County Board of Commissioners
    • William Hale Thompson: Alderman
    • William E. Dever: Judge of the Cook County Superior Court, alderman
    • Carter Harrison Jr.: Son of Mayor Carter Harrison Sr.
    • Fred Busse: Chicago postmaster, state treasurer
    • Edward F. Dunne: Circuit Court Judge
    • John Patrick Hopkins: Hyde Park Treasurer, chairman of Cook County Democratic Party
    • George Bell Swift: Alderman, Commissioner of Public Works
    • Hempstead Washburne: city attorney
    • DeWitt Clinton Cregier: chief engineer, Chicago Water Department
    • John A. Roche: state representative
    • Carter Harrison Sr.: Congressman, Cook County Commissioner
    • Monroe Heath: Alderman
    • Harvey Colvin: city treasurer
    • Joseph Medill: Delegate, 1870 constitutional convention; member, federal Civil Service Commission
    • Roswell Mason: Chicago Board of Public Works
    • John B. Rice: theater owner
    • Francis Cornwall Sherman: hotelier, village trustee