30 Chicago Names You Should Know

Names that would eventually bear meaning flew past me my first several weeks at Loyola as I acclimated to the hurricane of Loyola-centric vocabulary.

Garanzini? Damen? Water Tower…like, for storing water?

Just like learning Loyola’s important terms, adjusting to and participating in Chicago life means getting up to speed with the city’s numerous players. The who’s who goes beyond prevalent political figures to the behind-the-curtain business people, larger-than-life athletes and innovative artists that every Loyola student should know.

Rahm Emanuel

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When the mayor’s job opened up in 2011, Rahm Emanuel left D.C. where he was President Barack Obama’s chief of staff.

Emanuel is the 55th mayor of Chicago and is serving his second term in office, though he almost lost his bid for reelection in 2015 when Cook County Board Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia forced Emanuel into a runoff election.

Edward Burke

The 14th Ward alderman has three and a half decades under his belt in City Hall.

He runs the City Council’s finance committee and is the City Council dean. Burke has popped up in several questionable events during his time in office, including a bribe scandal in 1997. In 2011, it was exposed that taxpayers were toting the bill — almost $600,000 per year — for Burke’s security detail, the Better Government Association reported.

J.B. Pritzker

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J.B. Pritzker is arguably the most successful businessman in Chicago. He is the co-founder of a private investing company, the Pritzker Group. He is devoted to turning Chicago into “Silicon Prairie” and leads ChicagoNEXT, a technology council formed to attract entrepreneurs to the city, Chicago Magazine reported. He is worth $3.4 billion.

Mike Madigan

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Some call this Democratic Illinois Speaker of the House the “Real Illinois Governor.” Mike Madigan has been elected House Speaker each term the past 32 years, with one exception from 1995-96. He represents the 22nd district on the South Side of Chicago. Madigan and the 71-seat Democratic majority are at odds with Republican Governor Bruce Rauner over several issues, including the battle over labor unions.

Bruce Rauner

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The new Republican governor set to work his first day on the job with executive orders that froze state spending, according to Chicago Magazine. The private equity investor spent $65.3 million on his campaign for an office he might lose if he doesn’t start playing nice with Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and the Democratic House majority, the Tribune reported. Madigan and the Democratic representatives may prevent Rauner from delivering on his promises to voters.

Sam Zell

Although he was unable to rescue the Chicago Tribune from financial uncertainty, Sam Zell is still a top businessman. He is the chairman of Equity Group Investments. Zell is worth $4.8 billion.

Gillian Flynn

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Gillian Flynn is the author of Sharp Objects, Dark Places and Gone Girl. Before landing on The New York Times bestseller list, Flynn worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine and wrote about movies such as The Lord of the Rings, The Brothers Grimm and Jackass: The Movie.

Virginia McCaskey

The 92-year-old principal owner of the Bears demands more of the team her father, George Halas, coached and owned before he left it to her when he died in 1983. She’s seen eight of the nine Bears’ championship titles and wants to witness another, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. McCaskey is worth $1.3 billion.

Garry McCarthy

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Garry McCarthy has been the Chicago Police Superintendent since 2011.

Police across the country are facing accusations of abuse and prejudice, and Chicago’s police are no different. But McCarthy has also been under scrutiny about the accuracy of the city’s crime statistics, which have been decreasing at surprising rates since he took office.

Rocky Wirtz

Rocky Wirtz has his hands in everything. He’s the United Center co-owner, Blackhawks chairman and Wirtz Beverage Group president. Wirtz is worth about the same dollar amount as Bruce Rauner, at more than $500 million.

Patrick D. Thompson

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D is for Daley. Father and son Richard J. Daley and Richard M. Daley served as Chicago mayors for a combined 43 years.

Their respective grandson and nephew, Patrick D. Thompson, moved closer to the mayor’s office when he added 11th Ward alderman to his list of political titles. He also serves as a commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. It looks like the Daleys may eventually add another 20 years to their combined mayor tally.

Joe Moore

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Students north of West Devon Avenue should call democratic alderman Joe Moore with their Rogers Park problems. He is the 49th Ward alderman (there are 50 wards in Chicago). Aldermen represent their ward for four-year terms in Chicago’s city council. They vote on issues such as minimum wage rates and approve the city’s budget each year.

Jonathan Toews

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The Blackhawks captain led his team to three championships and scored 223 goals since the Hawks drafted him in 2007. He plays center and is an Olympic gold medalist with Canada’s national men’s ice hockey team. “Captain Serious” isn’t known for idle chat or fancy stick-work like Patrick Kane; the 27-year-old’s numerous accolades speak for him.

Jake Arrieta

The Cubs pitcher is the first to finish the regular season with an earned run average (ERA) under 2.00 since Grover Cleveland Alexander did so in 1920, the Tribune reported.

The ERA is a number that assesses solely the merits of the pitcher, as opposed to looking at wins and losses, which depend on the whole team. Arrieta signed a one-year, $3.63 million contract with the Cubs in January.

Chris Sale

Although the White Sox aren’t going to snag a World Series title this year, one bright spot for the team is pitcher Chris Sale. Sale tied the MLB record for striking out 10 consecutive batters at the start of eight consecutive games this season. He was drafted by the Sox in 2010 and signed a five-year, $32.5 million contract with the Sox in 2013.

The Ricketts

Joe Ricketts and his son, Thomas Ricketts, are set on rescuing two institutions many think are beyond saving: journalism and the Cubs. Joe started online news outlet DNAinfo New York in 2009 and has since planted a second seed in Chicago. It’s unclear whether or not either outlet is profitable yet. While Joe may not have solved the journalism puzzle, the Cubs have finished third overall in the MLB regular season. The Ricketts family is worth $4.5 billion.

Kris Bryant

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Rookie of the Year contender Kris Bryant is the Cubs’ third baseman. The Cubs are tied with the Kansas City Royals for the third most regular season wins in the entire league at 89. The Cubs are in the best division, so they have to play the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have 94 regular season wins, in a one-game Wild Card match to advance to the division playoffs and have a shot at their first World Series title in more than 100 years. Bryant signed a one-year, $500,000 contract with the Cubs in April.

Jay Cutler

The Bears’ quarterback hasn’t been on his “A” game for most of his career with the Bears. The Bears signed Cutler to a $126 million, seven-year contract in 2014. Between all the interceptions (18 last season alone) and frustrated fans burning his jersey back in November, it doesn’t look like a promising season for No. 6.

Lisa Madigan

Lisa Madigan became the first female attorney general in 2003. She is Mike Madigan’s daughter.

Rick Bayless

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Delicious food is all over the city, but the premier Chicago chef is Rick Bayless.

He has a public television show, Mexico: One Plate at a Time, authored eight cookbooks and owns two award-winning Mexican restaurants. Frontera Grill (445 N. Clark St.) has a casual atmosphere while Topolobampo (also at 445 N. Clark St.) is a more upscale dining experience.

Patrick Kane

The Blackhawks won their third Stanley Cup this summer, and Patrick Kane had a lot to do with all three national championship titles.

The right-winger has scored 205 goals since the Hawks drafted him in 2007. Kane and Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews broke league history in 2014 when they signed matching eight-year, $84 million contracts with the Hawks, according to Yahoo Sports. They’re the first players to make more than $10 million annually since the league capped salaries in 2005.

Harry Osterman

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Students south of West Devon Avenue can take their issues to alderman Harry Osterman, who represents the 48th Ward.

Theaster Gates

The 2008 housing crash wasn’t to Theaster Gates what it was to the rest of the United States. Gates is an installation artist who focuses on urban development. Installation artists create art that transforms the perception of space.

After the housing market crash, Gates began buying up South Side homes, stripping them and creating community spaces and pieces he could sell to restart the process. Gates is currently a visual arts professor at the University of Chicago and remains an active artist.

Anthony Rizzo

Cancer survivor Anthony Rizzo made a successful comeback to professional baseball after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2008. Rizzo is a contender for the Most Valuable Player award because of the dimensional value he adds to a top MLB team, according to an article on ESPN’s website. He is the Cubs’ first baseman and was drafted in 2012. Rizzo signed a seven-year, $41 million contract with the Cubs in 2013.

Michael Sacks

Michael Sacks is the CEO and chairman of Grosvenor Capital Management (which manages more than $48 billion in assets) and World Business Chicago vice-chairman. He is also Emanuel’s go-to advisor for city finance questions and contracts such as the controversial deal that privatized many of the city’s parking meters. Sacks is on the Northwestern University, Art Institute of Chicago, After School Matters and Museum of Science and Industry boards, to name a few.

Dick Durbin

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The U.S. senator won his fourth term in 2015 and is serving as the assistant Democratic leader. The Democrats lost the majority in the Senate this year, but if the Democrats win the Senate back in the next elections, Chicago Magazine speculates Durbin to be a favorite for majority leader.

Derrick Rose

If a Billy Goat curses the Cubs, Derrick Rose (and his basketball team, the Bulls) is cursed by knee injuries. Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson comparisons were common before the point guard suffered his first serious injury during the 2010-11 season. Now, everyone wonders whether or not the five-year, $95 million athlete will ever play like he did when the Bulls drafted him in 2008. Rose renewed his contract with the Bulls in 2011.

Mark Kirk

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Republican Mark Kirk is a U.S. senator who won his second term this year.

Joakim Noah

The 6-foot, 11-inch Bulls center is a two-time NBA all-star player. The Bulls drafted Noah in 2007. In 2010, Noah signed a five-year, $60 million contract with the Bulls. Noah does extensive charity work in Chicago and recently began raising money to keep art programs in Chicago schools.

David Spielfogel

Emanuel’s top aid, David Spielfogel, promotes and organizes many of the mayor’s policies such as raising minimum wage to $13 an hour and giving filmmaker George Lucas free lakefront land to build a museum, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

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