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Click to see all 100 Most Powerful Chicagoans
Looking for the latest in Chicago's power structure? Check out this year's Power 100 list.

4. Mike Madigan

Mike Madigan

AGE: 69
OCCUPATION: Speaker, Illinois House

He doesn’t say much. But when the Velvet Hammer—a.k.a. the Real Governor of Illinois—speaks, his word is final. House speaker for 27 of the past 29 years and chairman of the state’s Democratic Party, his latest move is a bold congressional remapping designed to unseat four freshman Republicans. Rivals who try to knock him down soon learn their error. According to Rich Miller of the Capitol Fax blog: “The pile of political corpses outside Madigan’s Statehouse door . . . is a mile high and a mile wide.” Just ask Rod Blagojevich.

MORE ON MADIGAN: Did Michael Madigan Set Up a Fake Opponent in Patrick John Ryan? | The Sins of the Father—Should Lisa Madigan Return the Money? | Changing Times in Madiganistan?

RELATED: Most Powerful Ex-Chicagoans | Power Couples | Power Siblings | Up-and-Comers | Poll: Which Powerful Chicagoan Would You Call Back First? | Quiz: Do You Know Chicago’s Power Players? | Back to all 100

 

Photograph: Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune

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