Now that Richard M. Daley has passed officially his father, Richard J. Daley, to become the longest serving mayor in Chicago history, let the great debate begin: Who was the better mayor?
To the current mayor, there's little doubt. When asked by reporters recently, the younger Daley said his father was the better of the two.
"He was both mayor and chairman of the Democratic Party. He came out of the Roosevelt era; one man, one party. That was a whole philosophy during the Depression. So that was very instilled and educated in him as a leader in government and politics," Richard M. Daley said.
A true assessment will come with the passage of time and ultimately will fall to historians and political scientists to decide. But comparing the two Daleys is more than just a parlor game. Examining the accompliments of the two men creates a fascinating look at the leadership, priorities and challenges facing U.S. cities during the last half century.