Richard J. Daley: The Last Boss

Produced and Directed by: Barak Goodman
Written by: Barak Goodman and Geoffrey Ward

The story of the last great urban political machine and the titanic figure at its helm: Richard J. Daley. Chronicles Daley's rise from his Irish immigrant roots to the helm of the Chicago political machine and his epic battles with Martin Luther King and the protestors at the Democratic National Convention in 1968. : In 1902, Richard J. Daley was born on a street he would never leave and christened in the small church in which he would one day be buried. For an Irish Catholic boy like Daley, politics was one of the few tickets to power. Industrious and ambitious, he began a slow and methodical climb up the political ladder from ward organizer to state representative, where he earned a reputation for integrity and for his mastery of complex legislation. By 1953, he had seized control of the Cook County Democratic machine and from there it was a short step to the job he had so long coveted. As mayor, Richard Daley built a political machine that would never again be duplicated. He delivered Illinois for John F. Kennedy in the 1960 Presidential election, and although charges of fraud would haunt him for years, the victory thrust him into the national arena. His downfall came when he refused to integrate the city and refused to intervene with the police in the 1968 Democratic Convention.