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90_HR0140 LRB9005676KBkbA 1 HOUSE RESOLUTION 2 WHEREAS, The State of Illinois has lost one of its most 3 valued Citizens, Mike Royko of Chicago, Illinois, who passed 4 away on Tuesday April 29, 1997; and 5 WHEREAS, Mike Royko is well known within the State as 6 well as around the world as a syndicated columnist from 7 Chicago, Illinois; and 8 WHEREAS, Mike Royko was born September 19, 1932; his 9 father was Ukrainian and his mother was Polish; together they 10 raised their children in a flat above the family tavern, the 11 Blue Sky Lounge; and 12 WHEREAS, Mike Royko spent his early life tending bar in 13 his father's tavern; he skipped college and joined the United 14 States Air Force, where he trained as a radio operator; Mike 15 Royko went on to serve in the Korean War, stationed near 16 Seoul; upon his return to the United States, he was stationed 17 at O'Hare Field near Chicago; to avoid becoming a military 18 policeman, he applied for and received a position on the base 19 newspaper; and 20 WHEREAS, Mike Royko was married to his childhood 21 sweetheart, Carol Duckman, in 1954; together they had two 22 sons, David and Robert; and 23 WHEREAS, Mike Royko went to work for the Lincoln-Belmont 24 Booster; he then moved on to the City News Bureau; he was 25 offered a position with the Daily News, but admitted that was 26 not experienced enough to hold such a position; and 27 WHEREAS, In 1959, Mike Royko was hired as a reporter for 28 the Daily News, where he worked the night shift; Mike sold 29 tombstones via the telephone and home visits to supplement 30 his early income at the newspaper; switching to the day 31 shift, Mike was offered a chance to write a column on the -2- LRB9005676KBkbA 1 Cook County Building; in 1964, after talking with his editor 2 about writing a column with a "Chicago flavor", Mike Royko 3 began writing his daily column; and 4 WHEREAS, Mike Royko developed a character in his column 5 that would come to be known as his alter-ego, Slats Grobnik; 6 Slats was the Chicago everyman, who Royko would hold 7 discussions with on topics ranging from the Chicago Cubs to 8 the city's ever changing local government; and 9 WHEREAS, The Democratic Convention was held in Chicago in 10 1968, and Mike Royko won the Broun Award for his coverage of 11 the police force and their treatment of the demonstrators and 12 reporters; and 13 WHEREAS, In 1971 Mike Royko wrote the book "Boss: Richard 14 J. Daley of Chicago", a book about Chicago's colorful leader; 15 Royko later stated that he liked Daley for his stand on 16 family values and public works; and 17 WHEREAS, In 1972, Mike Royko was awarded the Pultizer 18 Prize for Journalism: Criticism and Commentary; afterwards he 19 considered moving his family and column to Washington, D.C., 20 but was talked out of it by his wife, children, and himself; 21 and 22 WHEREAS, Mike Royko was Chicago; he created the 23 unofficial motto for Chicago "Ubi Est Mea-Where's Mine?"; he 24 was at home in the Billy Goat Tavern; the Billy Goat Tavern 25 that Mike frequented was immortalized on the early episodes 26 of Saturday Night Live, where Chicago native John Belushi 27 would shout out the familiar "Cheezbooger, Cheezbooger", in 28 the tradition of the Billy Goat's cook; Royko later suggested 29 that Belushi got his inspiration for the skit from Royko's 30 column, not from actual visits to the Billy Goat; and 31 WHEREAS, In 1978, Mike's beloved Daily News ceased -3- LRB9005676KBkbA 1 operations, and Royko and his column moved to the Chicago 2 Sun-Times; in the following year, Mike's wife Carol passed 3 away after suffering from a cerebral hemorrhage; Mike's 4 column was suspended for several weeks, except for one brief 5 column that read "We met when she was 6 and I was 9. Same 6 neighborhood street. Same grammar school. So if you ever 7 have a 9-year old son who says he is in love, don't laugh at 8 him. It can happen."; and 9 WHEREAS, Mike Royko left the Chicago Sun-Times after its 10 buyout by Rupert Murdoch in 1984; he joined the Chicago 11 Tribune that same year; in 1986 he married Judy Arndt, chief 12 of the Sun-Times public service bureau, whom Royko referred 13 to in his column as "The Blonde."; together they had recently 14 purchased a condominium in Florida where they could get away 15 to play tennis or fish; and 16 WHEREAS, Together, Mike and Judy had two children, Sam 17 and Kate; Mike Royko is also survived by his two sons Robert 18 and David; his brother Robert; his two sisters Eleanor Cronin 19 and Dorothy Zetlmeier; and five grandchildren; therefore, be 20 it 21 RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 22 NINETIETH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we 23 mourn, along with his family, friends, readers, Slats 24 Grobnik, and the men and women of Chicago, the death of Mike 25 Royko; and be it further 26 RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be 27 presented to the family of Mike Royko of Chicago, Illinois.
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