The Chicago Police Marine unit said 60-year-old Peter Davis was dead at the scene.
Police say they had reports of someone shouting for help, but a search of the area yielded nothing. Then a report of a hat near one of the docks prompted another search and Davis was found.
"We believe the gentleman was along the lakefront somewhere. Whether he was walking we don't know. He was swept into the water and basically drowned," said Chicago Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff.
Tuesday night the conditions along the lakefront were very difficult with very low visibility and extreme wind gusts as the snow fell.
Davis was a resident of Lincoln Park for about 20 years. Sources say he had returned from work Tuesday and was heading out into the storm. He was found less than a mile away in the harbor.
Davis' sister-in-law told ABC7 he was graduate of Northwestern and got his law degree from Harvard. She also said he was the biggest White Sox fan.
Davis was a senior vice president and general counsel for the parent company Draftfcb Interpublic Group.
A company spokesman released a statement saying in part, "Peter...was brilliant and coupled that intelligence with a deeply caring manner. His work ethic was second to none as he applied his sharp legal mind to a huge volume of issues. He will be deeply missed."
There were several other deaths related to the blizzard:
- A 69-year-old Downers Grove man died after suffering chest pains while shoveling snow.
- In northwest Indiana, a crash involving a car and semi in Newton County claimed the life of a 17-year-old and his passenger.
- And, in LaSalle County, 44-year-old Andrew Berg of Kernan died early Wednesday morning after leaving his car when it got stuck in the snow south of Route 18.