Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley returned home today after a one-week hospitalization in an intensive care unit because of an unspecified illness, his law firm said.
Feeling ill, the 71-year-old Daley walked straight from a plane into an ambulance after returning to Chicago from a business trip to Arizona on Jan. 31. He underwent several tests, but a spokesman for his law firm did not elaborate this week on whether doctors were able to determine what caused Daley to feel disoriented.
His father died of a heart attack at age 74, and the former mayor has been hospitalized at least two times since 2000. He left Northwestern Memorial Hospital on today with family members as photographers snapped shots. His family had visited him between tests.
Daley, the city’s longest-serving mayor, was at the helm for 22 years. He declined to run for reelection in 2011 and was succeeded by Rahm Emanuel, who had been President Barack Obama’s chief of staff.
Daley’s father, Richard J. Daley, also served as Chicago’s mayor, and the Daley family has reigned over Illinois politics for nearly a century.
As mayor, Daley was sharp with critics and cozy with supporters. He oversaw the renaissance of Chicago’s downtown, improved City Hall’s outreach with the black community, advocated for stronger anti-gun laws and reshaped the Chicago public school system.
A string of city budget deficits, though, led to a drop in his public approval ratings and an unwinding of some of his successes.
Daley, a former county prosecutor, has been a counsel at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP since leaving his mayoral post. His wife, Maggie, died in 2011 at age 68 of breast cancer.