Roman Conrad Pucinski (May 13, 1919 – September 25, 2002) was an American Democratic politician from Chicago, Illinois. He was a U.S. Representative from 1959 to 1973, and alderman from the 41st Ward of Chicago from 1973 to 1991. He was considered a longtime leader of Chicago Polonia and was seen to represent its interests in Washington along with Congressman Dan Rostenkowski.
He was born in Buffalo, New York, but moved to Chicago with his family as a child. In 1941, he graduated from Northwestern University. During World War II he served in the Air Force. After the war, he attended John Marshall Law School in Chicago, and graduated in 1949. He worked in journalism for many years, notably at the Chicago Sun-Times. In 1952, he was chief investigator for the Congressional Special Committee which investigated the Katyn Massacre. This was of special interest to him as a Polish-American.
Pucinski became active in politics, and was elected U.S Representative in 1958 from the heavily Polish-American 11th District on the Northwest Side of Chicago. He was re-elected to six additional terms, serving from 1959 to 1973.
As a Representative, he made two important contributions. He pushed for the installation of "black box" flight recorders on all passenger airliners. He also supported Federal assistance to community colleges.
When districts were redrawn after the 1970 Census, Pucinski's district was abolished, and he did not seek re-election in 1972. Instead he was the Democratic candidate for the United States Senate, against incumbent Senator Charles H. Percy; he lost badly.
In 1973, he was first elected alderman from the 41st Ward of Chicago, which had been part of his old Congressional District and was heavily Polish-American. Pucinski also served as Democratic Ward Committeeman from the 41st ward for many years. When Mayor Richard J. Daley died in 1976, a special mayoral election was held in 1977. Pucinski ran in this election, even though the Democratic organization had endorsed Michael Bilandic. Pucinski lost.
He also introduced proposed ordinances on various issues. One of his proposals (in 1987) was a requirement for an employee vote on any Employee Stock Ownership Plan established by a corporation based in Chicago. In 1984, he supported a redistribution of Community Development Block Grant funds that would have allocated $1.3 million to repave streets in the 41st Ward.
The 41st Ward was Republican in most contests and the aging Pucinski was defeated in his campaign for re-election as Alderman by Republican Brian Doherty in 1991.
His daughter Aurelia followed him into politics. He died in Chicago in 2002.