Nation: Give 'Em Hell, Janey!

"A little spitfire," her second husband calls her. "Little Ms. Sourpuss" is how Chicago Sun-Times Columnist Mike Royko describes her. Either way, Jane Byrne's fierce and feisty campaigning appealed to disgruntled Chicagoans, who often welcomed the underdog mayoral candidate with cries of "Give 'em hell, Janey!"

One of six children of a vice president of Chicago's Inland Steel Co., Byrne attended Barat College in suburban Lake Forest, then married a Marine Corps pilot. A 1959 crash left her widowed with an 18-month-old daughter, and she plunged into politics. Her first hero was Jack Kennedy. She became secretary-treasurer of his Chicago Citizens Committee,...

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