Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jane Margaret Byrne  

Pen Name: None


Born: Chicago, Illinois

-- Jane Margaret Byrne on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection


Biographical and Professional Information

Jane Byrne was the first and only female Mayor of Chiago, Illinois. She served from April 16, 1979 through April 29, 1983, and still lives in Chicago.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

My Chicago (Chicago Lives)
ISBN: 0810120879

Northwestern University Press. 2003

By the end of her first meeting with the late mayor Richard J. Daley, Jane Byrne had been questioned, berated, and told she might, one day, reach the House but probably not the Senate-and she had also reduced him to tears. That would be but the first of many altercations in her pioneering political career.

My Chicago is the story of Jane Byrne's rise from young campaign worker to the mayor's office, all within the bruising arena of Chicago politics. Part sociopolitical history, part memoir, it begins with a history of the city and her early life, before she enters politics as a paid staff member of JFK's presidential campaign and, soon after, begins service in the Chicago Machine, but not of it.

Her view from the inside allows Byrne to sketch portraits of Daley, for whom she eventually worked, members of the Kennedy family, and Presidents Carter and Reagan. And, of course, it provides a fascinating perspective on the battle to succeed Daley, which ended with her own triumph over the Machine and a controversial term as mayor, which saw her begin development across the city and (famously) move into the Cabrini-Green housing project. The first memoir by a Chicago mayor in two generations, My Chicago is a valuable history as well as an entertaining look at no-holds-barred city politics.


First Female Mayor of Chicago

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