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Michael Bilandic

Jane Byrne dies at 81; Chicago's first female mayor

Jane Byrne dies at 81; Chicago's first female mayor

Jane Byrne, who capitalized on Chicago's slow reaction to a snowstorm to score one of the biggest election upsets in the city's history and become its first and only female mayor, died Friday. She was 81.

Byrne, whose four-year term was filled with upheaval at City Hall, died at a hospice in Chicago, said her daughter, Kathy. No cause was given.

Byrne famously beat Mayor Michael Bilandic in 1979 after his administration failed to adequately clear streets fast enough following a blizzard. But during her term, she was branded with nicknames such as "Calamity Jane" as she speedily fired and hired people in such top jobs as police superintendent and press...

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