Don Rose, who turns 90 on Monday, can log a few items next to his name.
Columnist, political strategist, progressive stalwart, anti-war radical, racial justice crusader, jazz aficionado, gourmet foodie, ultimate party host, Paris denizen.
And Chicago’s political and cultural polymath. Rose, born in 1930 in Rogers Park to Jewish parents, later moved to Hyde Park, then Lincoln Park. He has made history in his hometown.
Rose is my longtime friend, mentor and guide to the wild and wily ways of Chicago politics. I asked him for the reflections of a nonagenarian.
“Probably, my obituary will read that I managed Jane Byrne’s campaign,” Rose replied. He was the architect of Byrne’s election as Chicago’s first woman mayor, trouncing the Democratic Party Machine. It was a short-lived victory as Byrne flipped and joined forces with the party leaders she once dubbed the “evil cabal.”
“I think I’ve made some contributions to the betterment of the city and maybe a bit…