By Christina Wilkie - 02/23/11 04:58 PM EST
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has spent nearly his entire life around powerful Republican politicians.
So imagine his surprise when he learned that his birth certificate bears the John Hancock of one of the 20th century’s most powerful Democrats: the late Chicago mayor and Democratic Party boss Richard J. Daley.
Daley served as mayor of the Windy City from 1955 until his death in 1976, and was influential in shaping the modern Democratic Party. Daley’s eldest son, Richard M. Daley, followed in his father’s footsteps as Chicago’s mayor for 22 years. His youngest son, William M. Daley, is chief of staff to President Obama.
The news of Rumsfeld’s early brush with an über-politician was particularly timely on Tuesday, as Chicago voters took to the polls to elect their next mayor.