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Historian Will Bring to Elmhurst College an Inside Look at Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley

Chicago historian Keith Koeneman had unprecedented access to members of Daley's administration.

Keith Koeneman writes about Chicago history, politics and culture. His new book on the retired mayor of Chicago, First Son: The Biography of Richard M. Daley, was built on unprecedented access to the key players in the long-running Daley administration. The book tells the story of a complicated leader—sensitive and tough, impatient and persistent—who as mayor not only ran but also embodied Chicago.

Koeneman will discuss his biography of the former Chicago mayor, which was released in late March, at Elmhurst College at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 8.

In First Son: The Biography of Richard M. Daley (University of Chicago Press), Koeneman chronicles the complex and often contradictory life of an American political legend. Through more than 100 interviews, he tells an up-close, insider story of political triumph and personal evolution, highlighting Daley’s achievements and mistakes.

Koeneman also demonstrates how Daley’s influence expanded beyond his beloved city, especially after protégés Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, as well as his confidant and brother Bill Daley, became major players under President Obama.

Publishers Weekly writes that “Native son Koeneman colorfully and familiarly details the rise of the Daleys and their imprint on their home town.” 

Koeneman’s talk will be held in the Founders Lounge of the Frick Center at Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Ave. Admission is $10 for the general public and free for Elmhurst College students, faculty, staff and alumni. Tickets are available at the door or by visiting www.elmhurst.edu/tix. For more information, call (630) 617-3390.

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