Mayor of Chicago
|Mayor of Chicago|
Seal of City of Chicago
|Term length||4 years, no term limits|
|Inaugural holder||William Butler Ogden|
|Succession||President Pro-tem of the Chicago City Council|
|Website||Office of the Mayor|
The Mayor of Chicago is the chief executive of Chicago, Illinois, the third-largest city in the United States. He or she is charged with directing city departments and agencies, and with the advice and consent of the Chicago City Council, appoints department and agency leaders.
The mayor appoints the Commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department and Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. He or she also appoints the heads of city departments, the largest of which are the Water Management Department (formed by the consolidation of the former Water Department and Sewer Department under Richard M. Daley) and the Streets & Sanitation Department. He or she also appoints members to the boards of several special-purpose governmental bodies including the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library, Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Transit Authority, and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority. Under Richard M. Daley, the Illinois legislature granted the mayor power to appoint the governing board and chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools and subordinated the district to the mayor; the district had long been an independent unit of government.
The Chicago City Clerk and City Treasurer are elected separately, as are the 50 aldermen who form the City Council. The mayor is empowered, however, to fill vacancies in any of these 52 elected offices by appointment. In turn, the City Council elects one of its own to fill a mayoral vacancy.
The Mayor of Chicago is elected by popular vote every four years, on the last Tuesday in February. A run-off election, in the event that no candidate garners more than fifty percent of the vote, is held on the first Tuesday in April. The election is held on a non-partisan basis. Chicago is the largest city in the United States not to limit the term of service for its mayor.
The first mayor was William Butler Ogden. Two sets of father and son have been elected Mayor of Chicago: Carter Harrison, Sr. and Carter Harrison, Jr. as well as Richard J. Daley and Richard M. Daley. Carter Harrison, Jr. was the first mayor to have been born within city limits. The first and only woman to hold the office was Jane Byrne. The first black mayor was Harold Washington. As an interim mayor, David Duvall Orr had the shortest mayoral term. Richard M. Daley was originally elected in 1989 and re-elected for the sixth time in 2007. In September 2010, Daley announced that he would not seek reelection for a seventh term as mayor. On December 26, 2010, Daley became Chicago's longest-serving mayor, surpassing his father's record. Rahm Emanuel is the current mayor, having won the 2011 election with 55% of the vote to 25% for his closest opponent, Gery Chico. Emanuel was sworn in on May 16, 2011.
By charter, Chicago has a "weak-mayor" system, in which most of the power is vested in the city council. In practice, however, the mayor of Chicago has long been one of the most powerful municipal chief executives in the nation. Unlike mayors in most other weak-mayor systems, he has the power to draw up the budget. Before the mayor's office became officially nonpartisan, he was the de facto leader of the city's Democratic Party, and had great influence over the ward organizations.
List of mayors
The mayoral term in Chicago was one year from 1837 through 1863, when it was increased to two years. In 1907, it was lengthened to four years, the present duration. Until 1861, municipal elections were held in March. In that year, legislation moved them to April. In 1869, however, election day was changed to November, and terms expiring in April of that year were lengthened. In 1875, election day was moved back to April by the city's vote to operate under the Cities and Villages Act of 1872.
|1||William Butler Ogden||1837–1838||Democratic|
|2||Buckner Stith Morris||1838–1839||Whig|
|3||Benjamin Wright Raymond||1839–1840||Whig|
|5||Francis Cornwall Sherman||1841–1842||Democratic|
|6||Benjamin Wright Raymond (2nd)||1842–1843||Whig|
|8||Alson Sherman||1844–1845||Independent Democrat|
|9||Augustus Garrett (2nd)||1845–1846||Democratic|
|10||John Putnam Chapin||1846–1847||Whig|
|12||James Hutchinson Woodworth||1848–1850||Independent Democrat|
|13||James Curtiss (2nd)||1850–1851||Democratic|
|14||Walter S. Gurnee||1851–1853||Democratic|
|15||Charles McNeill Gray||1853–1854||Democratic|
|16||Isaac Lawrence Milliken||1854–1855||Democratic|
|17||Levi Day Boone||1855–1856||American Party|
|20||John Charles Haines||1858–1860||Democratic|
|21||John Wentworth (2nd)||1860–1861||Republican|
|22||Julian Sidney Rumsey||1861–1862||Republican|
|23||Francis Cornwall Sherman||1862–1865||Democratic|
|24||John Blake Rice||1865–1869||Republican|
|25||Roswell B. Mason||1869–1871||Citizens||Mayor during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.|
|26||Joseph Medill||1871–1873||Fireproof||Born in Canada|
|Lester L. Bond||1873||Independent||4 months, Acting Mayor|
|27||Harvey Doolittle Colvin||1873–1875||People's|
|Thomas Hoyne||Never served||Independent||Election declared null and void.|
|29||Carter Harrison, Sr.||1879–1887||Democratic||father of Carter Harrison, Jr.|
|30||John A. Roche||1887–1889||Republican|
|31||DeWitt Clinton Cregier||1889–1891||Democratic|
|33||Carter Harrison, Sr. (2nd)||1893||Democratic||Assassinated in office; father of Carter Harrison, Jr.|
|34||George Bell Swift||1893||Republican||Mayor Pro Tem|
|35||John Patrick Hopkins||1893–1895||Democratic||First Irish American and first Catholic mayor|
|36||George Bell Swift (2nd)||1895–1897||Republican|
|37||Carter Harrison, Jr.||1897–1905||Democratic||First Chicago-born mayor; son of Mayor Carter Harrison, Sr.|
|38||Edward Fitzsimmons Dunne||1905–1907||Democratic|
|39||Fred A. Busse||1907–1911||Republican|
|40||Carter Harrison, Jr. (2nd)||1911–1915||Democratic|
|41||William Hale Thompson||1915–1923||Republican|
|42||William Emmett Dever||1923–1927||Democratic|
|43||William Hale Thompson (2nd)||1927–1931||Republican|
|44||Anton Cermak||1931–1933||Democratic||Assassinated in office; second foreign-born (in Kladno, Austria-Hungary)|
|45||Frank J. Corr||1933||Democratic||32 days, Acting Mayor|
|46||Edward Joseph Kelly||1933–1947||Democratic||An act of the state legislature permitted the City Council to elect a non-alderman to fill the vacancy.|
|47||Martin H. Kennelly||1947–1955||Democratic|
|48||Richard J. Daley||1955–1976||Democratic||Died in office; father of Richard M. Daley|
|49||Michael Anthony Bilandic||1976–1979||Democratic|
|50||Jane Margaret Byrne||1979–1983||Democratic||The only female mayor|
|51||Harold Washington||1983–1987||Democratic||Died in office; first Black/African-American mayor|
|52||David Duvall Orr||1987||Democratic||8 days, Interim Mayor|
|53||Eugene Sawyer||1987–1989||Democratic||Elected by city council to complete Mayor Washington's term|
|54||Richard M. Daley||1989–2011||Democratic1||Longest serving mayor; son of Richard J. Daley|
||First Jewish mayor|
1 Since 1999, mayoral elections have officially been nonpartisan. A 1995 Illinois law stipulated that "candidates for mayor . . . no longer would run under party labels in Chicago." However, both Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel are known to be Democrats.
Living former mayors
As of 2015, there are two living former mayors of Chicago, the older of whom is Richard M. Daley. The most recent mayor to die was Jane Byrne (1979-1983), on November 14, 2014. However, The most recently serving mayor to die was Eugene Sawyer (1987-1989), on January 19, 2008.
|Name||Mayoral term||Date of birth|
|David Orr||1987||October 4, 1944|
|Richard M. Daley||1989–2011||April 24, 1942|
- "Daley now Chicago mayor 1 day longer than father" Associated Press December 26, 2010
- Hardy, Thomas (July 7, 1995). "Gov. Edgar To End City Partisan Votes". Chicago Tribune.
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