Officials react to the passing of Maggie Daley

November 26, 2011 11:36:22 AM PST
President Obama, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel release statements on the passing of Maggie Daley.

Statement by the President on the Passing of Maggie Daley

"Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Maggie Daley. Maggie was an extraordinary woman who dedicated her life to public service. While she will be sorely missed, her initiatives on behalf of Chicago's youth live on as national models for how to create environments for children to learn and grow outside the classroom. Maggie's commitment to the children and people of Chicago was surpassed only by her devotion to her family. Tonight, our thoughts and prayers are with Mayor Daley, Nora, Patrick, Lally and the entire Daley family."

Governor Pat Quinn Thursday released a statement regarding the passing of former Chicago First Lady Maggie Daley.

"Tonight, the State of Illinois lost a great treasure. Maggie Daley was a woman for all seasons who treated Chicago residents like family and served up hope and inspiration wherever she went.

"The ever-gracious Maggie was devoted to her family and her faith. Maggie had a servant's heart, especially for children. Through her founding and leadership of After School Matters, she lifted up thousands of Chicago teenagers with opportunities to discover their potential and find their path to a meaningful life.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Daley family. The people of Chicago and Illinois now mourn a great loss, but we remember the legacy of grace and compassion that Maggie left."

Statement from Mayor Rahm Emanuel regarding the passing of former First Lady Maggie Daley.

"Tonight we grieve for the Daley family. Chicago has lost a warm and gracious First Lady who contributed immeasurably to our city. While Mayor Daley served as the head of this city, Maggie was its heart. Of all her accomplishments, Maggie's most treasured role was as a wife, mother, and grandmother. Our hearts go out to Mayor Daley, Nora, Patrick, Lally and the rest of the Daley family. Just as Maggie will remain a constant presence in their lives, she will remain a constant presence in our city. Like Chicagoans everywhere, Amy and I will always hold her in our hearts.

"We are grateful to Maggie for lending her shining spirit to Chicago in so many ways. She inspired all of us with her commitment to children and the arts. She revealed her grace through her battle with cancer. Whether you knew her personally or were among the countless more who loved and admired her, all of Chicago will remember Maggie for the grace and dignity with which she served for twenty-two years as First Lady.

"Every person in this city, one way or another, has been touched by her vision and determination. In the summer of 1991, Maggie started an after school program that apprenticed teenagers to learn their crafts from professional artists in a fun, safe environment. I remember the first time Maggie gave me a tour of the headquarters: a tent village they had put up on an empty lot downtown. There were just two hundred students. Twenty years later, twenty thousand Chicago students are busy learning, growing, and building a brighter future - all because of Maggie.

"On the fifth floor of City Hall hangs a beautiful mural that was created by some of those young artists from Maggie's program. I pass it when I come to work every morning and when I leave every evening. It reminds me that, at the end of the day, everything I do in that office as Mayor of Chicago is measured by her standard - to leave behind a city that is worthy of our children. That was the standard she lived by. That is what she leaves to us. So, join me in comforting the whole Daley family, and let us commit to carrying on Maggie's life's work to build that brighter future for the City of Chicago, together."

After School Matters Statement:

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, Chicago's 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.

Statment from Katherine Griem, president of the Illinois Division of the American Cancer Society:

"We were saddened to learn of the passing of former First Lady of Chicago Maggie Daley. She was a true inspiration and served as a valiant role model for anyone touched by cancer. She was and will continue to be an inspiration to all of us in the cancer-fighting community -- including patients, caregivers, survivors, physicians, nurses and researchers -- as we work to fight this terrible disease, make new discoveries and eliminate cancer as a major health problem. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Daley family and friends."

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