Chicago's current Mayor, Richard M. Daley, is the son of Mayor Richard J. Daley.
Let's look at these remarkable men separately:
1. Long before Bruce Springsteen, there was the real Boss, Richard Joseph Daley (May 15, 1902 – December 20, 1976). Mayor Daley served for 21 years as the mayor and undisputed Democratic boss of Chicago and is considered by historians to be the last of the big city bosses. He played a major role in the history of the Democratic Party, especially with his support of John F. Kennedy in 1960 and of Hubert Humphrey in 1968.
Daley was Chicago's third mayor in a row from the working-class, heavily Irish American Bridgeport neighborhood on Chicago's South Side, and he lived there his entire life.
Daley had two bases of power, serving as a Committeeman and Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Central Committee from 1953, and as mayor of Chicago from 1955. He used both positions until his death in 1976 to dominate party and civic affairs. Daley's well-organized Democratic political machine was often accused of political corruption and though many of Daley's subordinates were jailed, Daley was never personally formally accused of corruption.
He is remembered for doing much to avoid the declines that some other "rust belt" cities like Cleveland, Buffalo and Detroit experienced during the same period. He had a strong base of support in Chicago's Irish Catholic community, and he was treated by national politicians such as Lyndon B. Johnson as a preeminent Irish American, with special connections to the Kennedy family.
He was the second longest-serving Chicago mayor in history (just recently surpassed by his son, Richard M. Daley).
2. Richard Michael Daley (born April 24, 1942) is a United States politician, member of the national and local Democratic Party, and currently the Mayor of Chicago, Illinois. He was elected mayor in 1989 and reelected in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007. He is the longest serving mayor, surpassing the tenure of his father, Richard J. Daley, on December 26, 2010. Daley announced on September 7, 2010, that he would not run for re-election in 2011. His term will end May 16, 2011.
Daley was chosen by Time magazine in its April 25, 2005 issue as the best out of five mayors of large cities in the United States, and characterized as having "imperial" style and power, he has presided over a resurgence in tourism, the modernization of the Chicago Transit Authority, the mayoral takeover of the Chicago Public Schools, the construction of Millennium Park, increased environmental efforts and the rapid development of the city's North Side, as well as the near South and West sides. He took over 70% of the mayoral vote in 1999, 2003, and 2007.
Prior to serving as mayor, Daley served in the Illinois Senate and then as the Cook County State's Attorney.
From 1972 to 1980 he served in the Illinois Senate, where he led the fight to remove the sales tax on food and medicine, sponsored landmark mental health legislation and established rights for nursing home residents.
Daley was elected State’s Attorney of Cook County in 1980 and re-elected in 1984 and 1988. He pushed successfully for tougher state narcotics laws and raised the conviction rate dramatically. He helped overhaul Illinois’ antiquated rape laws to obtain more convictions and developed programs to combat drunk driving, domestic violence and child support delinquencies. He also tripled the number of African American prosecutors in the office.
In September 2010, Daley announced he would not seek a seventh term re-election as mayor. He cited his and his family's desire to begin a "new phase of our lives."
In 1996 Daley headed the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He has been named Municipal Leader of the Year by American City and County magazine; a Public Official of the Year by Governing magazine; and Politician of the Year by Library Journal. Time magazine, in its April 25, 2005 issue, said Daley “is widely viewed as the nation’s top urban executive.”
He has received the National Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official from the American Institute for Public Service; the Education Excellence Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice; the Public Service Leadership Award from the National Council for Urban Economic Development; the J. Sterling Morton Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation; the Keystone Award from the American Architectural Foundation; the Martin Luther King/Robert F. Kennedy Award from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence/Education Fund To End Handgun Violence; the Kevin Lynch Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; a Lifetime Achievement Award for support of the arts from Americans for the Arts and the U.S. Conference of Mayors; the Catalyst Award for Urban Park Leadership from the Urban Parks Institute.
(Editorial Notice: This article was quickly cobbled together while drinking my morning coffee and enjoying a bagel and 'shmear; my sources were the Chicago Tribune, City of Chgo gov website, various national magazines, Wikipedia and my own personal knowledge. All errors are strictly my own.)