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Famous Chicago Homes and People: From Interesting to Gruesome

Aug 23, 2008
Chicago, with a population of nearly three million people (roughly one percent of the entire nation's inhabitants!) it's not hard to imagine that many of America's most famous people are current residents of Chicago homes or at least once had a home in the Windy City.

Here is but a small sampling of some of the more interesting Chicago homes ranging from minutely interesting to intriguingly gruesome.

Mae Jemison: First African-American Woman in Space

Mae Jemison grew up in Morgan Park, an upscale area of southern Chicago. There she attended Morgan Park High School. Mae was so smart, that she surpassed all the available math classes at her high school. Her thirst for knowledge drove her to show up to school before it started in order to attend Calculus tutoring, a class which wasn't offered at the time.

Mae participated in several extra-curricular and was even student council president. But she was also a big Star Trek fan. One day, while watching Star Trek with her best friend, she revealed that she would one day, "...do that." Though her friend thought she was speaking of becoming an actress, Mae's sights were set on becoming an astronaut.

Hugh Hefner: The Man Who Never Gets Out of His Pajamas

It was in high school that Hugh Hefner was first given the nickname of "Hef," given by none other than himself. Legend has it that while attending Steinmetz High School in northwestern Chicago, Hef was snubbed from an invitation list to join a hayride. The incident resulted in an image makeover by the future founder of Playboy Magazine.

It was at Steinmetz High that Hef was voted Most Likely to Succeed and Best Dancer.

After high school, Hef went on to serve in the Army during WWII then later graduated from the University of Illinois with a major in psychology and a double minor in creative writing and art. According to Hef, it was in college that he first conjured up the idea for Playboy Magazine.

After leaving Esquire magazine (because he was denied a raise) he decided to break out on his own. After raising $8,000 (including $1,000 from his own mother) he went on to publish his first famous issue of Playboy in 1953, featuring none other than Marilyn Monroe.

John Wayne Gacy: Chicago's Least Favorite Homeowner

When it comes to Chicago homes, few may be more famous than the home of rapist and murderer John Wayne Gacy.

Raised by a father that was an abusive alcoholic, Gacy had always retained a strong relationship with his mother and sisters. Despite his father's abusive nature, Gacy noted that he regretted never having the chance to grow close with his father before his death.

But it's Gacy's adult life that brings on the morbid fascination of the public. Through the late 1970's and 1980's, Gacy raped and murdered several young men. Gacy's Chicago home is famous for being the location where he hid several of the bodies beneath the floorboards.

Other Notable Chicago Residents

Though Mae Jemison, Hugh Hefner, and John Wayne Gacy may be a few of the better known owners of Chicago homes, the Windy City sports a slew of famous residents and famous residents which include actors such as Lara Flynn Boyle, David Hasselhoff, and Harrison Ford.

Nancy Reagan also lived in Chicago during her teenage years, graduating from the Girls' Latin School of Chicago in 1939. Donald Rumsfeld is another famous name from the arena of politics.

Though the list we supply here is a short one, even the long list is sure to pale in comparison to what one great city will provide us with in the future. There is no doubt that Chicago homes, right at this moment, are incubating a whole new line of future famous residents.
About the Author
Remax Illinois (http://www.illinoisproperty.com/chicago-real-estate.aspx) specializes in offering Chicago homes as well other real estate throughout Illinois. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.
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