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Classic Royko

Columns from legendary writer Mike Royko republished from the Chicago Sun-Times archive.

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Classic Royko: Mayor Richard J. Daley dissected

This mayor, legend has it, first appeared during the Chicago Fire. He doused the fire with one hand and milked Mrs. O'Leary's cow with the other.

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Classic Royko: Dutch Louie, a man of dignity

Drinkers from the neighborhood liked him for many reasons. He could hold his liquor. He didn't sponge. And once in a while he'd even buy a drink.

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Classic Royko: The millions in Dr. Martin Luther King’s firing squad

They took part, from all over the country, pouring words of hate into the ear of the assassin.

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Classic Royko: Mary and Joe Chicago style

Mary and Joe were flat broke when they got off the bus in Chicago. They didn't know anybody and she was expecting a baby.

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Classic Royko: Give Harold Washington a break

After Harold Washington won the mayoral election in 1983, Mike Royko pleaded the "white ethnic neighborhood people" to give him a chance.

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Classic Royko: Mr. Sinatra sends a letter

I have to admit that receiving a signed, hand-delivered, copyrighted letter from Frank Sinatra was a thrill. Even if he did call me a pimp.

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Classic Royko: These feet are made for nothing

When I was born, the first thing my mother said to me was: "He takes after his father. Look at those feet." She was right. My father had size 12 feet

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Classic Royko: My dinner with James Bond, 1980s style

"James! You, cottage cheese? What about prime rib? You never ate cottage cheese in your life!"

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Classic Royko: Down the alley of life

Go to the nearest alley, lift the lid from a can, and shove your head down inside. Breathe deeply. Look around inside that can. That's garbage, sir.

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Classic Royko: Bucking hard for the Equal Rights Amendment

That's the trouble with the ERA crowd and most do-gooders. They are earnest, diligent and energetic. But they don't have much sense.

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Classic Royko: The Old Man and the Farm

The old farmhouse stood along a winding dirt back road. It was the last house before the road disappeared into the heavy Wisconsin forest.

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Classic Royko: Hef was the split-level king of the playboys

Hugh Hefner's kingdom is the same kingdom the 5:15 suburban commuter is rushing home to.

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Classic Royko: A tavern gets taken for a ride, and a cabbie mourns

They mess up their stomachs with fancy drinks. And it ain't the whisky that kills 'em, it's the other stuff they mix in — juice and stuff.

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Classic Royko: Farewell to a summer cottage

Every summer seemed better than the last. The sunsets seemed to become more spectacular. And more precious.

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Classic Royko: Let’s all pick a famous quote!

Or is it possible the mayor was thinking about the words of Noah, who said: "Let's all get in the Ark."

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Classic Royko: Gas station wise men and the meaning of life

One day Bill Malloy, a Chicago folk singer, noticed the catchy slogan on the Standard Oil service stations' signs: "As you travel, ask us." So he inquired about the meaning of life.

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Mike Royko column hits as hard today as 50 years ago

The sentiments afoot in the America of 1968 endure a half-century later.

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Classic Royko: The new rich move in

The old, established rich had to give up some of their exclusive box seats at the Metropolitan Opera to some of the newly rich.

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Classic Royko: Why President Johnson called it quits

The American people were so divided against themselves that he dared not take part in a political campaign for fear it could get worse.

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Classic Royko: Once upon a time, there was a woman who ran a dry cleaners store

The lady provided chairs for her customers, coffee, and, if somebody would walk down the block to buy a quart of beer, she'd provide the glasses.

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Classic Royko: The Senior Citizens Mob stacks the deck on vice squad

Charge: Gambling. Margate Park, 4931 Marine Drive. Evidence: A deck of cards and $4.30.

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Classic Royko: He can dream, can’t he?

There were Zebras by the package, and cherry bombs, torpedoes, and skyrockets, more Zebras, pinwheels, and other great stuff.

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Classic Royko: The social coup of the year in Chicago

This story is being told to show that this is still the land of opportunity.

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Classic Royko: Tales of the county coroner

Compared with the coroner's office, Dr. Frankenstein and Igor were more scientific.

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Classic Royko: The ups and downs of Frankie

Frankie felt like a giant's finger was on the down button of his life.

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Classic Royko: How they laughed as Bobby Kennedy’s body was flown back home

Outside the movie theater, people were asking what is wrong with this country, why it kills the way it does.

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Classic Royko: The young man and the sea

The young man looked past them at the shoreline. This was the moment to say: "The sea is like a woman."

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Classic Royko: Advice to a couple of kids upon their royal wedding

You’re really no different from the kid from the Southwest Side of Chicago, an assistant manager of a pizza joint, and his bride from Oak Lawn.

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Classic Royko: The saga of Peanuts Panczko

People called them burglars, but a burglar is a specialist. Even Pops, when asked what his occupation was, said: "I'm a teef."

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Introducing Classic Royko on Mondays: Tear down those Jackson Park trees!

On Mondays, the Chicago Sun-Times will begin re-publishing columns by the iconic Mike Royko.

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Sun-Times to revisit classic Mike Royko columns

Royko, an icon of Chicago’s journalism history, still captures readers years after his final column was published.