Chicago Sun-Times
Staff reports on all things politics - from City Hall to Springfield to Washington, D.C.

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Chicago Sun-Times Library File Photo by Rich Hein


This Sunday, November 25th, marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Harold Washington, who served as Chicago's mayor from April 1983 until his death in 1987, just months after winning a second term. Washington was a larger-than-life man with a big smile to boot. But he was also a fighter as his battles against then-aldermen Ed Vrdolyak and the "Vrdolyak 29" proved during the infamous Council Wars. He was a polarizing figure but the city came together to mourn his tragic and sudden passing over Thanksgiving week in 1987.

Over the next few days, we'll look back on the last days of Washington's life by digging up stories from our archives and posting them here with photos from the Sun-Times' archive.

We've also created a timeline tracking some of Washington's major accomplishments as a politician and implementing photos and videos.

Finally, at the end of the week, some of the Sun-Times' writers will also share their memories of Harold for us.

So keep checking this space all week for more on Washington as we remember him 25 years after his passing.

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For Joe Berrios, the Cook County assessor who is also the county Democratic Party chairman, government is the family business. That got him in trouble with the county ethics board, which called for Berrios to fire three family members. But the Berrios family's presence on government payrolls extends beyond that, the Chicago Sun-Times found, with 13 family members now collecting a paycheck from the county or state, plus two more who recently retired and now get public pensions.

Dan Mihalopoulos has the whole report here.

Above, find the handy family tree created for the story by Sun-Times graphic guru Max Rust. Click the image to open the full-size version.

Now that the election is over, let's take a look at the different parts of the country where each candidate won. Based on these two "new Americas", if we examine the latest American Community Survey data from 2010, we can see slight differences in particular demographics, such as education level, race and occupation. One of the most interesting results from this exercise is that in both Americas, government workers make up the same share of the working population.

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