Special Segments

ABC7 Exclusive: 1-on-1 with Mayor Daley and daughter Nora

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It's been nearly two years since Mayor Richard Daley stepped down as Chicago mayor and nearly a year and a half since he lost wife, Maggie, to breast cancer.

ABC7's Linda Yu spoke exclusively to the former mayor and his daughter.

Recognizing the human side of breast cancer treatment. That's the reason former Mayor Daley and his daughter Nora wanted to talk, even as the whole family plans to honor Maggie Daley by chairing the Susan G. Komen Maggie Daley walk to be held on Mother's Day.

The last image the people of Chicago had of Maggie Daley was at the wedding of daughter Lally, a wedding moved up since the family knew Maggie's time was short. The wedding was a celebration, not a time for sadness. Now, the former mayor, along with Nora, Patrick and Lally, have said "yes" to encouraging the Susan Komen walk and run to be named for Maggie.

"For myself, my brother, my sister, we find it such a great honor for my mother and our family," said Nora Daley Conroy. "Mother's Day is a wonderful day to gather with family and friends, to be together to walk or run for those who live with cancer, those survivors and those we have lost."

In the record 22 years Daley served as mayor of Chicago, there was praise and plenty of criticism.

But everyone acknowledged Daley's four-decade long love story with Maggie and saw his pain whenever he talked about her breast cancer.

Now, a year and a half later, Daley has some perspective on lessons learned from her that Maggie pushed for, more of what he calls the human side: well-being programs for those going through chemotherapy, such as music, painting, massage.

"She had more courage than I did," said Daley, "Courage in the human side, she knew. I never believed that anyone is that sick. I'm different. I don't see death."

But Maggie Daley did finally lose her struggle with breast cancer, and that's why the entire family wants to encourage people to sign up, pointing out 75 percent of the money raised by the run and walk will stay in Chicago with local breast cancer treatment and research programs.

As for what he's doing now, the former mayor is of counsel at one of the city's top law firms, Katten Muchin, and he is still most passionate about making Chicago one of the major partners in doing business with China.

"They are not our enemies," Daley said. "They never fought a war with us, for those who lost their jobs to China ... We need to learn we can rebuild jobs in America with their investments here."

With his decision to donate the remaining dollars in his campaign fund to charity, it seems clear Richard Daley will not run for another political office.

"I enjoyed public service. It was a great calling. I understood and like it," said Daley. "No one forced me to do it. I wanted it. Maggie and I understood, we got into it and I enjoyed every minute of it."

Daley won't criticize or give his opinion on how Mayor Rahm Emanuel is doing. and he avoids the question of whether he might campaign for his brother, Bill, should Bill decide to run for governor.

The only thing the former mayor and his children want to talk about is to encourage everyone to sign up and show up in Grant Park on Mother's Day for the Maggie Daley-Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

(Copyright ©2014 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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