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Jane Byrne
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Mayor
    (May 24, 1933-November 14, 2014)
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Attended University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus
    Graduated with a BS in Chemistry and Biology, Barat College, Lake Forest, Illinois (1965)
    Teacher turned politician
    Director of Chicago Consumer Affairs (1968-77)
    Mayor of Chicago (April 16, 1979-April 29, 1983)
    Wrote the book 'My Chicago' (1992)
    She had a privileged upbringing as her father, Edward Burke, was VP of Inland Steel.
    Though a loyal Democrat, she was viewed by the Chicago Democratic Party as an 'outsider.'
    Soon after Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley died of a heart attack in 1976, the new mayor fired her from her appointed position.
    She tried three times to regain her mayoral position (1983, 1987 & 1991) to no avail.
    She was defeated in 1991 by her mentor's son, Richard M. Daley.
    Her only child, Kathy, became a lawyer.
    Her first husband died less than two years after they wed in a military plane crash.
    She joined the John F. Kennedy for president campaign (becoming secretary-treasurer of the Chicago headquarters) and caught the attention of Richard J. Daley.
    Daley gave her a cabinet position in 1968, the first woman so honored.
    Few gave her any chance of winning the mayoral seat, but a paralyzing snowstorm and the city's slow response to it gave her the victory - Chicago's first female mayor.
    She established ChicagoFest (now called Taste of Chicago) that provided revenue to revitalize tourist attractions Navy Pier.
    She allowed the 1980 hit movie 'The Blues Brothers' to be filmed in her city, adding more revenue and giving Hollywood renewed interest in filming there.
    In 1981, she temporarily moved into the impoverished Cabrini-Green housing project to draw national attention to its high crime rate and conditions its residents endured.
    She never regretted 'not playing ball' with the Chicago political machine that may have resulted in a lengthier term.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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