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Rahm Emanuel Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Personal

Birth date: November 29, 1959

Birth place: Chicago, Illinois

Birth name: Rahm Israel Emanuel

Father: Benjamin Emanuel, a pediatrician

Mother: Martha (Smulevitz) Emanuel, a psychiatric social worker

Marriage: Amy Rule (1994-present)

Children: Leah, Ilana and Zach

Education: Sarah Lawrence College, B.A., Liberal Arts, 1981; Northwestern University, M.A. Speech and Communication, 1985

Religion: Jewish

Other Facts

Emanuel’s father is Israeli, and his mother is American.

Emanuel worked at Arby’s during high school. Part of his finger had to be amputated after a cut from a meat slicer became severely infected.

Took ballet in high school and received a scholarship to study dance at the Joffrey Ballet School, attended Sarah Lawrence instead.

Maintained dual American-Israeli citizenship until the age of 18.

Is sometimes called “Rahmbo” by news outlets such as the Economist and Salon for his tough, no-nonsense approach to politics and fundraising.

Timeline

1980 – Works as a fundraiser on David Robinson’s congressional campaign for Illinois’ 20th district, in Chicago.

1984 – Works on Paul Simon’s campaign for US Senate.

1988Serves as national campaign director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

1989 Chief fundraiser and senior adviser for Richard M. Daley’s campaign for mayor of Chicago.

1991-1992 – Serves as national finance director for the Bill Clinton/Al Gore presidential campaign.

1993-1998 – Serves as a senior adviser to President Clinton, including roles as deputy director of communications, executive assistant, senior adviser on policy and strategy and senior adviser on political affairs.

1999-2002Managing director of investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in Chicago.

February 2000-May 2001Member of the Freddie Mac board of directors.

November 5, 2002 – Wins election to the US House of Representatives for Illinois’ 5th District; is re-elected in 2004, 2006, and 2008.

November 5, 2008 – Is named White House chief of staff for President-elect Barack Obama.

December 29, 2008Announces he will resign his seat in the House of Representatives.

January 20, 2009-October 1, 2010 – Serves as White House chief of staff.

October 1, 2010 Resigns as White House chief of staff and moves back to Chicago.

November 13, 2010 – Formally announces that he is running for mayor of Chicago.

January 24, 2011An Illinois appellate court panel rules that Emanuel does not meet the residency standard to run for mayor.

January 25, 2011The Illinois Supreme Court grants a stay on the appeals court ruling, and orders that any ballots printed include Emanuel’s name while the case is pending.

January 27, 2011 – The Illinois Supreme Court issues a ruling allowing Emanuel’s name on the Chicago mayoral ballot.

February 22, 2011 – With 55% of the vote, Emanuel is elected the 46th and first Jewish mayor of Chicago.

May 16, 2011 Is sworn in at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

February 5, 2013 – Reports for jury duty but is ultimately dismissed. He says he’ll donate his $17 paycheck back to Cook County.

April 7, 2015 – Is reelected mayor of Chicago.

September 4, 2018 – Emanuel announces that he will not seek reelection to a third term as mayor of Chicago.

May 21, 2019 – The day after he leaves the mayor’s office, Emanuel signs a deal with ABC News to become an on-air contributor, two people familiar with the matter tell CNN. The Atlantic also announces his new role at the magazine as a contributing editor.

June 5, 2019 – Emanuel announces he will be joining the investment bank Centerview Partners, LLC. He will open a Chicago office and act as an adviser to the firm’s clients.

August 20, 2021 – President Joe Biden announces his intention to nominate Emanuel as ambassador to Japan.

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