Whether they're creating a skyscraper or local institution, they make the city work.
Richard M. Daley
From shepherding the creation of the downtown theater district and Millennium Park to luring Lollapalooza and seeding the city with free fests, one could argue the younger Daley has made a bigger impact on Chicago’s culture than his father, Richard J. And now the mayor hopes to dwarf those achievements by landing the 2016 Olympics. What’s the highlight of his Chicago career so far? “Being elected mayor in 1989,” he says with a laugh before adding, “The great moment of my life, as always, is meeting the people of Chicago, whether you just arrived last week…or you lived here all your life. What really makes Chicago is its people, its friendliness and that ‘I will’ spirit of saying that we can do it.” If Chicago’s Olympic bid succeeds, it’ll do more than spur infrastructure improvements, Daley says, outlining his vision for “more skate parks and more extreme sports in the city.” Who knew the mayor was such a fan of the half-pipe?—Frank Sennett