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Jackie Gallagher

Monday, Apr 28, 2014

* From the Sun-Times

A politically savvy straight-shooter, Lucille “Jackie” Gallagher was probably the most powerful spokeswoman for the Chicago Teachers Union in decades.

Mrs. Gallagher was a seasoned aide to House Speaker Michael Madigan when she was persuaded to leave the halls of the Illinois Capitol in 1991 to join the CTU as assistant to then-President Jacqueline Vaughn and as head of CTU communications.

Having worked for Madigan and before that, as a lobbyist, Mrs. Gallagher was able to “provide entry to some of the most important politicians in Springfield for the CTU,’’ said former CTU recording secretary Pam Massarsky. “Most especially, she had this remarkable relationship with Mike Madigan. It was both professional and personal. She had entry whenever she needed it.’’

Mrs. Gallagher died April 22 at age 85. […]

“She did not pull any punches,’’ said Gail Purkey, who served on Madigan’s staff with Mrs. Gallagher and later was her communications counterpart at the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

“She tried to be straightforward with reporters, and I think she was high-profile because of that,’’ Purkey said.

I had a few go-arounds with her myself over the years. Gail is right that Jackie didn’t pull any punches.

Whew, man.

Even so, I loved her. Who couldn’t? Jackie was one heckuva woman, with a raucous sense of humor. She truly stomped on the terra.

* As an aside, I’m told her daughters read CapitolFax.com posts to her almost right up to the very end.

Go read the entire obit. It’s a great story about a life well lived.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


9 Comments
  1. - 47th Ward - Monday, Apr 28, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    Rest in peace Jackie Gallagher. I worked with her a couple of times on legislative races in the 1990s. I learned a ton from her. The only way I can repay her for that is to pay it forward to others. She was a heck of a mentor to many, many political operatives in this state.


  2. - Steve Brown - Monday, Apr 28, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    Jackie started “mentoring” me in the mid ’70s and continued through the Byrne years and beyond. She did get the info through Capitol Fax. One of a kind, great source of insight and inspiration and usually willing to help young staffers over many years Prayers for her family in these difficult times


  3. - Lt. Guv. - Monday, Apr 28, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    Jackie was one of my very first political contacts in Springfield in the early ’80s. Tough person and a good person. Had the honor to work with her in the late ’80s & early ’90s until she left MJM. She will be very missed.


  4. - Knome Sane - Monday, Apr 28, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    Jackie was one of the funniest people I ever met. Her laugh and personality were legendary. I was always careful not to cross her, but if she was your friend, she was as loyal as a pit bull. I will miss her as much as I would miss a family member.


  5. - Jim Bray - Monday, Apr 28, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    Jackie had great energy and smarts. It was fun to push her buttons just to be able to listen to her rabid defense of a position or explanation of a political strategy. I’ll miss hearing her laugh. R.I.P. is right. She deserves it.


  6. - And I Approved This Message - Monday, Apr 28, 14 @ 2:38 pm:

    I had the pleasure of working with Jackie on a statewide campaign many years ago. She was a force of nature, full of wit and wisdom. And a great advocate for the things she cared about. It was fun to be her friend. Condolences to her family.


  7. - democrat Grrrl - Monday, Apr 28, 14 @ 4:50 pm:

    I worked with Jackie for many years, and we spent many hours around the rail in Springfield, or partaking of the Monday night fried chicken special at Sportsmen’s, or in education committee hearings, or working in a campaign. She believed in politics, in public education, in unions. It was an education just being around her. She will be missed.


  8. - justbabs - Monday, Apr 28, 14 @ 5:02 pm:

    Like many others, I worked with Jackie on a campaign and can attest that she was one in a million. Tough, funny, smart, and could scare the crap out of anyone/everyone. Loved that laugh, can hear it now. She will truly be missed.


  9. - Archiesmom - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 1:28 am:

    Jackie’s daughter Audrey was a neighbor and became a dear friend when I lived in the Bay Area. Jackie was a smart, funny and passionate woman, and I really enjoyed talking politics with her. She was a force of nature and will be missed by many.


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