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Mystery of Chicago's 'Walking Man' solved, but only after he's beaten and hospitalized

Mystery of Chicago's 'Walking Man' solved, but only after he's beaten and hospitalized

Chicago knows him as "The Walking Man" or "The Walking Dude." A mostly silent wanderer of downtown streets with long wavy hair and a thick mustache who often wears a sport coat, sometimes with a boutonniere.

The mystery has fed rumors for decades. He fell from a wealthy family, he once worked on Rush Street as a bartender, he had taught college literature, he was a graphic artist.

None of those is true, his family said Wednesday as the 69-year-old man lay in a hospital bed at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the victim of a vicious beating on Lower Wacker Drive near Lake Shore Drive.

His name is Joseph Kromelis. He's a street peddler who prefers to...

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