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It was established around 1679 and was a French and Native American trading post. It was officially recognized as a town in 1833, but still only had 200 inhabitants.
Today, Chicago is populated by 2.7 million residents. It is the third wealthiest city in the United States and ranks 7th in the Global Cities Index. Chicago O'Hare Airport is the second-busiest airport in the world.
It is an international center for business, finance, economy, telecommunications, transportation, technology, industry, commerce, and shipping. The city is known for its waterfront beauty, upper class lifestyle, modernization, unique design, and education system.
People Born in Chicago
Chicago in People's Lives
Amanda Murphy: I was born here in 1988, in the southern suburbs of the city in the Orland Park area. I was born the oldest of four children, the daughter of a railroad worker and a nurse. I happily grew up here, and still live here - Chicago is my eternal home. Growing up, my mother encouraged me to constantly try new things - anything and everything. I did all kinds of sports, mostly basketball and volleyball. The only one my mother was scared of was horseback riding, which of course turned out to be my passion.
Georgina Chapman: I filmed scenes of the movie Derailed here in 2004.
Hunter S. Thompson: I traveled here in 1968 to cover the Presidential campaign trail. I attended the 1968 Democratic Convention at the International Amphitheatre here, where I covered and watched the speeches of Presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey and his Vice President candidate Edmund Muskie. I also saw and possibly met Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern. From my hotel room window here, I watched violent politically inspired clashes between the police and protestors, which impacted me and greatly affected my views on politics.
Jack London: I married my second wife, Charmian Kittredge here in November of 1905, only one day after my divorce from my first wife Elizabeth was made official. Unlike with my first marriage, which had been one of comfortable friendship, I was crazy about Charmian. We remained inseperable soulmates for the rest of our lives.
Kanye West: I moved here from Atlanta in 1980 with my mother, following my parent's divorce. I was three years old. Though I was not born here, I view this city as my hometown. During my childhood, my mother worked as an English professor, and had a happy childhood in an upper middle class home. In 1987, my mother and I moved temporarily to Nanjing, China so that she could teach English there. However, despite those few months, I grew up in this city. From an early age, I was very creative, and loved reciting poetry, drawing, and music. I began rapping in third grade, and in middle school began to become ingrained in the Chicago hip-hop scene. I began writing and composing music in 7th grade. When I was thirteen, in 1990, I begged my mother to let me rent a recording studio, which she eventually did, reluctantly. It was a dingy hole-in-the-wall, but I was thrilled. As a teenager, I met and befriended rapper Ernest Wilson (better known by his rap name No I.D.), who became a mentor to me, and my earliest supporter. With his guidance, I released a sample CD at the age of 15, in 1992. When I graduated high school at the age of 18 in 1995, I was given a scholarship to the American Academy of Art in this city, where I pursued painting. However, I soon transferred to Chicago State University to study English, at the encouragement of my mother, who was an English teacher there. About halfway through university, I decided to drop out in order to focus on my music. I was 20 years old, and it was 1997. My mother did not take this news well, though she later came to support my decision. I began creating music for up and coming artists within this city, and was heavily involved in the emerging Chicago rap and hip-hop scene. I began to pick up speed and success as a producer. In 2000, I began working as a producer for Rock-a-Fella Records, and with huge artists such as Jay-Z. I moved to Los Angeles in 2000, at the age of 23.
Liam Neeson: I traveled here in 1988 to film scenes of the movie Next of Kin. We filmed at the Checkerboard Lounge on East 43rd Street, and at other locations in the city as well.
Mamah Borthwick: I moved here from Michigan in 1899, after marrying my husband Edwin, a wealthy electrical engineer. We lived outside this city in the Oak Park area. I met Catherine, the wife of Frank Lloyd Wright, at a society party, and we became friends. Through this acquaintance, it was eventually arranged that Wright would design and built a home for Edwin and I, which he began around 1904. I was drawn to him, and we soon became close, and began a secret relationship, which went on for years before we both made the decision to leave both of our spouses and run away to Europe together, in 1909. When we returned in 1910, we knew we could not go back to this city, where we were known, wanting to keep our affair quiet. We instead moved in secret to Spring Green, Wisconsin, but the newspapers soon found out about us. Society was scandalized, and both of our former spouses fought signing legal divorce papers for years, especially Wright's ex-wife, my former friend. Some people even clamored for Wright's arrest for immorality, but the police could not prove that he and I were doing anything wrong. The scandal affected Wright's career, and his commissions for work dwindled - still, he was always sure that he wanted to be with me. I frequently visited this city for the rest of my life, as it was where most of Wright's work was located.
Marko Jaric: I traveled back and forth from this city frequently in 2012, hoping to be signed onto the NBA Chicago Bulls team. I was signed to their team in October 2012, and celebrated, but was waived off the list a few days later. I decided to try again in New York.
Mary Todd Lincoln: After the tragic death of my husband Abraham Lincoln in 1865, I moved here later in the year to live with my sons. I petitioned Congress to grant me an annual pension, opining that I had the same right to the money as other war widows - even more so, as my husband had been a fallen commander. It was far from customary to grant petitions to the widows of Presidents, and Congress was reluctant to agree. It wasn't until 1870 that I was granted a pension of $3,000 a year (equal to about $56,000 in 2015 equivalents). I had an extreme fear of poverty, and often walked around in public with $56,000 worth of bonds sewn into my petticoats. From 1868 - 1869, I was in Europe with my son Tad. However, on the transatlantic crossing back to the United States, he fell ill. I brought him back to this city and nursed him back to health, but he suffered from ill health for months before passing away three months after our landing, of tuberculois at the age of 18. The death of my other son brought on extreme depression, and I began to act erratically, having conspiracy theories about Jews on trains trying to steal my pocketbooks, and once attempting to jump out the window of a building to escape a non-existant fire. My only remaining son, Robert, made the decision to institutionalize me with a heavy heart. I was sent to a mental hospital in Batavia, Illinois in 1875.
Megyn Kelly: After graduating from Albany Law School in 1995, I moved to this city, at the age of 25, to accept a job as a law associate at the Bickel & Brewer law firm in this city. During my time there, I wrote an article on "the conflicting roles of lawyers" for the American Bar Association Journal. Shortly after this, I took another job at Jones Day, where I worked for nine years, until 2003. One of my clients during this time was the credit company Experian. Around 2003, I moved to Washington D.C.
Olivia Culpo: I traveled here in March of 2013 to launch the CHI Magazine Spring / Summer issue, and to attend the announcement ceremony of Miss CHI 2013.
Patricia Neal: I attended Northwestern University here, from about 1943 - 1946. I studied drama, and had quite an influential acting teacher, who was a great inspiration for me in beginning my career. Also, during my studies here, I entered in a campus beauty pageant and was crowned Syllabus Queen.
Rudyard Kipling: I traveled here in 1889, during a world tour of sorts through North America.
Tatiana Maslany: I traveled here in 2011 to film scenes of the movie The Vow.
Vinnie Ream: I traveled here in 1893 to exhibit some of my sculptures at the Chicago World's Fair.
Walt Disney: I was born here in 1901, into a struggling Irish-Canadian family. I moved away in 1906, but my family returned in 1917. I was sixteen years old and bursting with artistic creativity. I became the cartoonist for my high school's newspaper, and took courses at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago at night. Though I felt privileged to be in the elite Art Institute, I greatly disliked my high school, and even wrote an eloquent letter to the principal saying that I was "disgusted" with the school. He did not appreciate my concerns. I became caught up in patriotism and longed to aid the war effort of World War I, leading me to decide to drop out of high school and enlist in the army. I was rejected for being too young, but managed to get a job as an ambulence driver overseas. And so, I left Chicago again.
Whitney Port: I traveled here in 2013 to launch my clothing line, Whitney Eve. I also came to celebrate my sister's modeling debut, coincidentally for the same store I was releasing my designs in...
Ziyi Zhang: I traveled here to accept an award from the Chicago Film Critic's Association in 2000, for my role in Crouching Tiger, HIdden Dragon.
Zoe Kravitz: I filmed scenes for the movie Divergent here in 2013.
Zoe Saldana: I traveled here in 2010 to film the movie Colombiana.