Going the Distance

At 13, Harold Washington was already savvy about the byzantine world of Chicago politics: he worked with his father, a Democratic precinct captain, organizing voters on the South Side. He also received an early education in the rigors of competition. While at Du Sable High School, he won the city championship in the 120-yd. high hurdles. At the Civilian Conservation Corps camps, he became a no-nonsense amateur middleweight boxer who won 50 of 60 fights, 15 by knockout. Laughs the mayor-elect today: "I'm a pretty good bare-knuckles fighter too."

Now 61, Washington chain-smokes Kools...

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