John Canning

AGE: 67
OCCUPATION: Chairman, Madison Dearborn Partners

The rare deal guy who’s actually liked, Canning wields enormous influence on Chicago’s corporate landscape. He oversees a leveraged buyout shop that has raised $18 billion to scoop up vulnerable big companies (CDW, Nuveen) and keep them here. Since handing the CEO job to successors Sam Mencoff and Paul Finnegan in 2007, he has helped rescue the Sun-Times and support the Chicago News Cooperative.

MORE ON CANNING: Q & A: Madison Dearborn Partners chairman John A. Canning, Jr.

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Photograph: E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune