State of Illinois
90th General Assembly

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 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
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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