For more than two decades, Mayor Richard J. Daley ruled Chicago with an iron fist. The last of the big city bosses, Daley ran an unbeatable political machine that controlled over one million votes. From 1955 until his death in 1976, every decision went through his office and he was a major player in national politics too: Kennedy and Johnson owed their presidencies to his control of the Illinois vote, and he made sure they never forgot it! In a city legendary for its corruption and backroom politics, Daley's power was unrivalled. He transformed Chicago, once a dying city, into a modern metropolis but he also made it America's most segregated city. A man of profound prejudices and a deep authoritarian streak, he constructed the nations largest and worst ghettos, sidestepped civil rights laws, and successfully thwarted Martin Luther King's campaign. A quarter-century after his death, journalists Cohen and Taylor present a biography of the man, drawn from newly uncovered material and interviews with his contemporaries. It is the story of his rise from the working-class Irish neighbourhood of his childhood to his role as one of the most important figures in modern American history.