CHICAGO – Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley likely will remain hospitalized in an intensive care unit for several days as doctors conduct tests to determine why he was feeling ill and disoriented during a conference in Arizona, a spokeswoman for the city’s longest serving mayor said Sunday.
Jackie Heard, Daley’s longtime spokeswoman when he was mayor who now serves as his spokeswoman at the downtown Chicago law firm where he works, said that the 71-year-old Daley was resting comfortably at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Daley was attending a conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., with other members of the law firm, Latten Muchin Rosehman, when he started complaining Friday that he did not feel well.
She said Daley flew back to Chicago on Friday evening, and that his family had arranged for an ambulance to be at the airport to take him directly to the hospital. She said he was able to walk to the ambulance.
Heard said Daley has been alert while in the hospital, and has been visited by members of his family. She said has not been told by doctors, even preliminarily, what might have caused Daley to fall ill.
Daley has been hospitalized at least twice since 2000, when he was examined by doctor after experiencing minor chest pains. Two years later, he and his wife were hospitalized because they were suffering from severe stomach flu.
Daley was the city’s mayor for 22 years, the most by anyone in city history and a year longer than his father, the legendary Richard J. Daley, who was 74 when he died in 1976 of a heart attack while still in office.
In 2010, Richard M. Daley surprised the city when he announced that he would not seek a seventh term. He was succeeded by Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff who returned to the city to make his successful run for mayor.
About six months after Daley left office, his wife, Maggie, died Thanksgiving Day after a long battle with breast cancer.