Richard J. Daley

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I'm not the last of the old bosses. I'm the first of the new leaders.

Richard Joseph Daley (May 15, 1902December 20, 1976) was an American politician who served as the Mayor of Chicago from 1955 and the chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party Central Committee from 1953 until his death. He has been called "the last of the big city bosses" who controlled and mobilized American cities. Daley played a major role in the history of the Democratic Party, especially with his support of John F. Kennedy in the presidential election of 1960 and of Hubert Humphrey in the presidential election of 1968.

On the other hand, Daley's legacy is complicated by criticisms of his response to the Chicago riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and his handling of the notorious 1968 Democratic National Convention that happened in his city. He also had enemies within the Democratic Party. In addition, many members of Daley's administration were charged and convicted for corruption, although Daley himself was never charged with any crime.


  • The confrontation was not created by the police; the confrontation was created by the people who charged the police. Gentlemen, let's get the thing straight, once and for all. The policeman isn't there to create disorder; the policeman is there to preserve disorder.
  • I'm not the last of the old bosses. I'm the first of the new leaders.
    • Cohen, Adam; Elizabeth Taylor (2001). American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley - His Battle for Chicago and the Nation. Back Bay Books. ISBN 0-3168-3489-0. 
  • Even the Lord had skeptical members of his party. One betrayed him, one denied him and one doubted him.
  • Fuck you, you Jew son of a bitch, you lousy mother-fucker, go home.
  • Good government is good politics and politics is good government.
    • Paul Michael Green; Melvin G. Holli (1995). The Mayors: The Chicago Political Tradition. Southern Illinois University Press. pp. 144. ISBN 0809319616. 
    • An ofttimes repeated maxim of Daley's to describe his view on the inseparability of politics and government.
  • I have conferred with the superintendent of police this morning and I gave him instructions that an order be issued by him immediately and under his signature to shoot to kill any arsonist or anyone with a Molotov cocktail in his hand.
    • David Farber (1994). Chicago '68. University of Chicago Press. pp. pg 145(b), pg 249(a). ISBN 0226238016. 
    • Stated one week following the April 1968 Chicago riots to the people of Chicago because of his dissatisfaction with the minimum use of force employed by Police Superintendent James B. Conlisk in dealing with rioters.
  • They have vilified me, they have crucified me; yes, they have even criticized me.
  • If a man can't put his arms around his sons and help them, then what's the world coming to?
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