William M. Daley Biography

William M. Daley is a noted American politician and a lawyer. Check out this biography to know about his birthday, childhood, family life, achievements and fun facts about him.

Quick Facts

Birthday: August 9, 1948

Nationality: American

Famous: Political Leaders American Men

Age: 71 Years, 71 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Leo

Also Known As: William Michael Daley

Born Country: United States

Born in: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Famous as: Politician

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political ideology: Democratic Party


Spouse/Ex-: Bernadette Keller (m. 2009)

father: Richard J. Daley

mother: Eleanor Daley

siblings: Eleanor Daley, John P. Daley, Mary Carol Daley, Michael Daley, Patricia Daley, Richard M. Daley

City: Chicago, Illinois

Notable Alumni: Loyola University Chicago

U.S. State: Illinois

More Facts

education: St. Ignatius College Prep (1966), John Marshall Law School, Loyola University Chicago

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William Michael Daley is a noted American politician and a lawyer. Born into a politically active family with his father serving as the mayor of Chicago consecutively for twenty-one years, he became interested in politics early in his life, taking part in Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign at the age of twenty-seven. Later, he would manage his brother, Richard’s, mayoral campaign and become the chairman of Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign. A hardcore Democrat, he was appointed to National Advisory Council of Economic Opportunity by President Carter at the age of twenty-eight. At forty-five, he was tasked with promoting North American Free Trade Agreement by President Clinton and despite all odds, made a success out of it. Later, he was appointed a secretary of commerce by President Clinton and the White House Chief of Staff by President Obama. In between, he continued to work professionally at various organizations. In 2019, he gave up his job at Argentiere Capital to participate unsuccessfully in the mayoral election in Chicago.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • William Michael Daley was born on August 9, 1948, in Chicago, Illinois. His father, Richard Joseph Daley, was the chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party Central Committee since 1953 and served as the mayor of Chicago from 1955 till his death in 1976. His mother, Eleanor Daley née Guilfoyle, was better known as Sis Daley.
  • Born the youngest of his parents’ seven children, he had three sisters and three brothers. All his sisters, Mary Carol Daley, Eleanor Daley and Patricia Daley Martino, grew up to be teachers.
  • Among his brothers, the eldest, Richard M. Daley, was the mayor of Chicago from 1989 through 2011. His second brother, John P. Daley, is now a member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners and the third, Michael Daley is a partner in the law firm Daley & George.
  • He spent his childhood in a modest house with all the brothers sleeping together in the attic. Although his father was the mayor, every night he would come back home to have dinner and then play catch with them.
  • He possibly began his education at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church and School, located close to his home. Later, he followed his brother John to St. Ignatius College Prep, graduating from there in 1966, thereafter attending Providence College in Rhode Island for a year.
  • While studying in Providence College, he began to miss all the actions at home. Thus, he returned to enter Loyola University Chicago, eventually earning his BA degree in political science from there in 1970. Thereafter, he entered John Marshall Law School, earning his J.D degree from there in 1975.
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Early Career
  • In 1975, William M. Daley joined his brother John to launch an insurance brokerage firm called ‘Daley and Daley’. Concurrently, he began taking part in political activities, working on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign in 1976. The experience proved invaluable and he came in contact with many important people.
  • In 1977, Carter appointed Daley to National Advisory Council of Economic Opportunity, a position he held till 1980. Thereafter, he joined his brother, Michael’s, law firm, ‘Daley and George’. During this period, he toyed with the idea of joining politics but was discouraged by his father.
  • All through the 1980s, he continued working in his brother’s firm, Daley and George. Concurrently, he remained politically active, working on his brother, Richard’s mayoral campaign in 1983 and 1989 and on Walter Mondale’s presidential campaign in 1984.
  • In 1989, he left Daley and George to become the first vice chairman of Amalgamated Bank of Chicago, ascending to the post of president and chief operating officer in the following year, holding the position till 1993. Meanwhile in 1992, he chaired Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in Illinois.
  • In 1993, he became a partner of Mayer, Brown & Platt, remaining with them till 1997. Also in 1993, he was appointed to the board of Federal National Mortgage Association and named a special counsel to President Bill Clinton, being tasked with promoting North American Free Trade Agreement.
Secretary of Commerce
  • In 1997, William M. Daley left Mayer, Brown & Platt to become the U.S. secretary of commerce, being appointed to the post by President Bill Clinton. Meanwhile in 1996, he successfully co-chaired the host committee of Democratic National Convention, held in Chicago.
  • As the secretary of commerce, he undertook a number of initiatives such as helping to launch e-commerce in a big way and expanding the minority business development programs, which in turn created millions of jobs. In 2000, he left the job to run the presidential campaign for Al Gore.
Returning to the Financial World
  • After Al Gore lost the election, William M. Daley returned to the world of finance, briefly working for Evercore Capital Finance in 2001. Later in the same year, he shifted to Texas, being appointed president of SBC Communications, serving in that capacity for three years.
  • In 2004, he left SBC Communications to become Midwest chairman of JPMorgan Chase, a position he held till 2007. Thereafter, he was appointed the head of the corporate responsibility program, holding that position till 2010.
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  • Meanwhile in 2008, he served briefly on the advisory board of the Obama-Biden Transition Project.
Later Career
  • In January 2011, William M. Daley returned to public service, being appointed the White House chief of staff by President Obama. Apart from his usual duties, he also worked on the next year’s presidential campaign, ultimately making sure that Obama would return to the White House in 2012.
  • In January 2012, soon after Obama was reelected for a second term, Daley resigned from his post and returned to Chicago. Very soon, he declared that he would run for the post of governor of Illinois. Although he filed his documents, he withdrew from the race in September 2013.
  • In 2014, he joined Argentière Capital as a managing partner. When in the following year Bruce Vincent Rauner was elected to the post of the governor, he served as the co-chair of the transition team.
  • In 2018, he served as the head of finances for the campaign of gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy. Later, on September 14, he announced his candidacy for the 2019 Chicago mayoral election. In this election, held on February 26, 2019, Daley came third, winning 82,019 votes.
Major Work
  • William M. Daley is best known for promoting North American Free Trade Agreement, which was initially very unpopular with the legislators. He went from door to door, convincing both Democrats and Republicans of its benefits. Eventually, the bill passed the senate with 61-38 votes and the house with 264-200 votes.
Awards & Achievements
  • In 2010, Daley received the Chicago History Museum "Making History Award" for Distinction in Civic Leadership.
Family & Personal Life
  • In December 1970, William M. Daley married Loretta Aukstik and had two sons and two daughters with her. Among the sons, Richard J. Daley II died at the age of eight while the eldest, William R Daley, has followed his footsteps. His daughters, Lauren and Maura, have shown no interest in politics.
  • In March 2001, it was rumored that the couple had separated. However, it is not known when their divorce was finalized.
  • In 2009, William M. Daley married Bernadette Keller. She is a director and founding member of the Chicago Transplant Ethics Consortium.

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How To Cite

Article Title
- William M. Daley Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- November 13, 2019
William M. Daley

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