The Funeral of Chicago's Former First Lady Maggie Daley

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Maggie Daley's life was celebrated Monday at Old St Patrick's Church. Former Mayor Richard M. Daley sat surrounded by his children and grandchildren on one side of the aisle that held his wife's coffin.

On the other side of the aisle was First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, along with scores of other dignitaries and ordinary Chicagoans who gathered to pay their respects. Elizabeth Brackett reports on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm.

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Maggie died last Thursday at age 68, after a long battle with metastatic breast cancer. Several statements were issued following her death.

Statement Regarding After School Matters® Founder and Chair Maggie Daley:

"After School Matters® is saddened beyond words by the passing of our Founder and Chair Maggie Daley. She was truly a visionary who inspired Chicago, the nation and leaders from around the world with her passion for providing teenagers with opportunities to find paths to meaningful lives.

"While After School Matters has lost its leader, Chicagoʼs teens have lost their strongest voice and champion — a true believer in the potential of high school students if only they are offered opportunity and encouragement.

"All of us at After School Matters will be forever grateful for the gift of working side-by-side with her. Her optimism, devotion and courageous spirit will live on through the accomplishments of the tens of thousands of teens whose futures are now brighter because of her boundless commitment to their lives and their potential. We will honor her legacy by continuing to dedicate ourselves to the work she loved so dearly."

Chicago Public Schools released the following statement on the passing of Maggie Daley:

“Our most sincere thoughts and prayers today are with the Daley family. Maggie Daley's dedication to enriching the lives of children across Chicago has been unmatched by any one individual during our lifetime. Her passion and commitment to providing children with laughter and hope through arts and education is a legacy that will be carried on every day in the hearts and minds of the thousands of children whose lives she touched. The Chicago Public Schools will be forever grateful for all she has done on behalf of our students.”

-- David Vitale, President, Chicago Board of Education
-- Jesse Ruiz, Vice President, Chicago Board of Education
-- Jean-Claude Brizard, CEO Chicago Public Schools

Congressman Dan Lipinski issued the following statement:

“Maggie Daley's passing after a long, odds-defying struggle with breast cancer is a tremendous loss not just for her family and friends, but for the entire city of Chicago. She was kind, generous, and brave to the end, and while she valued her privacy, she was remarkably friendly. My heart goes out to former Mayor Daley and her entire family. Nothing mattered more to Maggie Daley than family, but the power of her example was felt by countless others. The perseverance, selflessness, and love of life that she displayed after being diagnosed with breast cancer have been an inspiration to thousands, and I have no doubt that her story will continue to inspire. Her support for the arts helped to secure their central place in the life of a great city. Over the years, countless kids have benefitted from her well-known work to improve education, especially education outside the classroom. As someone who shared her belief in the importance of education, I was proud to bring her to Washington two years ago to share some of her successful efforts in Chicago with a national audience at a congressional hearing. Those efforts are another aspect of her legacy, and a further reminder of the deep and lasting impact that Maggie Daley had on the people of Chicago.”

The law firm, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, where former Mayor Daley is “of counsel,” released the following statement:

“The firm would like to express our deepest sympathies to former Mayor Daley and the entire Daley family during this difficult time. Maggie Daley's vibrant spirit and innumerable contributions to Chicago, especially its young people, have left an indelible mark that will impact generations to come.”

President Barack Obama, Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel also released statements following Maggie Daley's death. Click here to read them.

What are your thoughts on Maggie Daley's life and legacy? Post your comments below or on our discussion board.

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