Rahm Emanuel is the 55th mayor of Chicago. Emanuel won with 55% of the vote over five other candidates in the nonpartisan Chicago’s 2011 mayoral election. He succeeded 22-year incumbent Richard M. Daley. In 2015, he defeated Cook County Board Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” García in the April 7 runoff election after he did not obtain an absolute majority in the February 2015 mayoral election.
Before his election, Emanuel served as chief of staff to President Barack Obama, served three terms as a congressman representing Illinois’ 5th Congressional District, and worked as an aide to President Bill Clinton in the Clinton administration.
On November 6, 2008, Emanuel accepted the position of White House Chief of Staff for US President Barack Obama. He resigned his congressional seat effective January 2, 2009. A special primary to fill his vacated congressional seat was held on March 3, 2009, and the special general election was held on April 7. John Fritchey, a candidate for that seat, said at a forum that Emanuel had told him he may be interested in running for the seat again in the future.
“I’m hiding under the desk. I’m very far under the desk, and I’m bringing my paper and my phone.”
— Rahm Emanuel, when asked about the Democratic presidential nomination, and his choice between candidate Barack Obama and candidate Hillary Clinton
On September 30, 2010, it was announced that Emanuel would leave his post as White House Chief of Staff to run for Mayor of Chicago. He was replaced by Pete Rouse on October 2, 2010. Emanuel was elected in February 2011 after Richard M. Daley decided not to stand for re-election.
rahm Emanuel is married to Amy Rule; they live in the Ravenswood neighborhood and have three children, Zach, Ilana and Leah.
Emanuel’s brother Ari Emanuel is a Hollywood agent, one of the inspirations for the Ari Gold character on HBO’s “Entourage.”
After high school senior Rahm Emanuel cut the middle finger of his right hand on a meat slicer while working at Arby’s, the finger became infected after a swim Emanuel swam in Lake Michigan. The severity of the infection required that part of the finger be amputated.
“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”
— Rahm Emanuel