That was the realm in which Dick Ciccone flourished for many years as he illuminated the range and depth of political corruption in the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois and the benighted nation. But always, behind the sharply written yet elegant prose, the reader could discern a compensatory amusement that tempered his never-depleted reserve of deeper outrage. As political editor and then managing editor of the Chicago Tribune he was one of the last of the great print journalists. He also graced our radio program as a member of our political “A-Team.” The three other members of that team join me and a multitude of non-millennials in mourning his passing last week. Here he is in a solo appearance just about a year ago; it begins with the current presidential race as it was starting to shape up in September, 2015 and goes on to some great stories, a stream of amused and cynical asides and the display of his easy and street-smart erudition (in his last two decades he doubled as a Notre Dame adjunct). A closing conjecture: without Dick, Barack Obama would not have become President. Why? Because Dick, as political editor, hired a new reporter, an aspiring kid just out of the University of Chicago who was sort-of interested in politics: namely, David Axelrod.

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