Famous Chicago Homes and People
Chicago, with a population of nearly three million people (roughly one percent of the entire nation’s inhabitants!) it’s not hard to imagine that many of America’s most famous people are current residents of Chicago homes or at least once had a home in the Windy City.
Here is but a small sampling of some of the more interesting Chicago homes ranging from minutely interesting to intriguingly gruesome.
Mae Jemison: First African-American Woman in Space
Mae Jemison grew up in Morgan Park, an upscale area of southern Chicago. There she attended Morgan Park High School. Mae was so smart, that she surpassed all the available math classes at her high school. Her thirst for knowledge drove her to show up to school before it started in order to attend Calculus tutoring, a class which was not offered at the time. Mae participated in several extra-curricular and was even student council president. But she was also a big Star Trek fan. One day, while watching Star Trek with her best friend, she revealed that she would one day, “…do that.” Though her friend thought she was speaking of becoming an actress, Mae’s sights were set on becoming an astronaut.
Hugh Hefner: The Man Who Never Gets Out of His Pajamas
It was in high school that Hugh Hefner was first given the nickname of “Hef,” given by none other than himself. Legend has it that while attending Steinmetz High School in northwestern Chicago, Hef was snubbed from an invitation list to join a hayride. The incident resulted in an image makeover by the future founder of Playboy Magazine. It was at Steinmetz High that Hef was voted Most Likely to Succeed and Best Dancer. After high school, Hef went on to serve in the Army during WWII then later graduated from the University of Illinois with a major in psychology and a double minor in creative writing and art. According to Hef, it was in college that he first conjured up the idea for Playboy Magazine. After leaving Esquire magazine (because he was denied a raise) he decided to break out on his own. After raising $8,000 (including $1,000 from his own mother) he went on to publish his first famous issue of Playboy in 1953, featuring none other than Marilyn Monroe. For a beautiful luxury home visit outside of http://old.icon-group.com you should check out the original Playboy mansion, which still stands in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago.
She is the 44th first lady of the United States and wife of U.S. President Barack Obama. Prior to her role as first lady, she was a lawyer, Chicago city administrator and community-outreach worker. Michelle Obama was born on January 17, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois. She went to Princeton University, graduating cum laude in 1985, and went ahead to acquire a degree from Harvard Law School in 1988. Tailing her graduation from Harvard, she worked at a Chicago law office, where she met her husband, the current U.S. President Barack Obama. The couple wedded on October 3, 1992. As first lady, she has focused her consideration on current social issues, such as poverty, healthy living and education.
She is best known as the widow of Robert F. Kennedy, the former U.S. attorney general and New York senator who was assassinated in 1968.
Ethel Kennedy was conceived Ethel Skakel in Chicago, Illinois, on April 11, 1928. She met Robert F. Kennedy, known as Bobby, in the mid-’40s and the two wedded in 1950. The couple in the end had eleven children, with Ethel taking the part of party host at the family’s large Virginia home. John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960, appointing sibling Bobby U.S. attorney general. Bobby was killed eight years later, leaving Ethel to bring up their children and proceed with a progressive political legacy as seen with the foundation of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.
Actress Frances McDormand
Frances McDormand won an Oscar for her portrayal of a pregnant, Minnesotan policewoman in the Coen brothers’ film ‘Fargo,’ with other lauded roles in projects like ‘Almost Famous’ and ‘Olive Kitteridge.’ She was born on June 23, 1957, in Chicago, Illinois. She studied at Yale Drama School and shared a dorm room with Holly Hunter. She met Joel and Ethan Coen through Hunter and won a lead in their first film Blood Simple. She later received her first Academy Award nomination for her role in 1988’s Mississippi Burning. She won an Oscar for the 1996 movie Fargo and earned additional nominations for 2000’s Almost Famous and 2005’s North Country. With an array of subsequent projects, McDormand garnered new acclaim for her Emmy-winning lead role in HBO’s Olive Kitteridge.
John Wayne Gacy: Chicago’s Least Favorite Homeowner
When it comes to Chicago homes, few may be more famous than the home of rapist and murderer John Wayne Gacy. Raised by a father that was an abusive alcoholic, Gacy had always retained a strong relationship with his mother and sisters. Despite his father’s abusive nature, Gacy noted that he regretted never having the chance to grow close with his father before his death. But it’s Gacy’s adult life that brings on the morbid fascination of the public. Through the late 1970’s and 1980’s, Gacy raped and murdered several young men. Gacy’s Chicago home is famous for being the location where he hid several of the bodies beneath the floorboards.
Mandy Patinkin is an award winning American artist and actor known for her work on such TV shows as “Homeland” and in such films as ‘The Princess Bride.’ Born in 1952 in Chicago, Mandy Patinkin concentrated on acting at the Juilliard School of Drama in New York. After beginning her career with stage work, Patinkin moved to films by the late 1970s, and her reputation hit another high with 1987’s The Princess Bride. Working across theater, film, music and TV, Patinkin has most recently garnered fans with his parts on the famous programs Criminal Minds and Homeland.
Other Notable Chicago Residents
Though Mae Jemison, Hugh Hefner, and John Wayne Gacy may be a few of the better known owners of Chicago homes, the Windy City sports a slew of famous residents and famous residents which include actors such as Lara Flynn Boyle, David Hasselhoff, and Harrison Ford.
Nancy Reagan also lived in Chicago during her teenage years, graduating from the Girls’ Latin School of Chicago in 1939. Donald Rumsfeld is another famous name from the arena of politics.
Though the list we supply here is a short one, even the long list is sure to pale in comparison to what one great city will provide us with in the future. There is no doubt that Chicago homes, right at this moment, are incubating a whole new line of future famous residents.