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...