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About Colonel Robert R. McCormick

The Man Behind the Name
Source: Exhibit City News, May-June 1997

Who was the McCormick of McCormick Place? The man who has been honored by having the nation's premier exhibition center bear his name was Colonel Robert R. McCormick, long-time editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. McCormick spearheaded the drive to build a world-class convention center in the city of Chicago.

One of the most colorful, controversial, yet successful newspapermen ever known, he was a symbol of mid-western conservatism, newspaper circulation wars, and the Al Capone prohibition era. During his lifetime, McCormick, the newspaper he owned and headed, and the city of Chicago were closely intertwined.

Under Col. McCormick's leadership, the state endorsed construction of a permanent exhibition hall to host conventions and trade shows. McCormick Place opened in 1960, five years after Col. McCormick's death.

Colonel Robert R. McCormick

Colonel Robert R. McCormick circa 1920
Courtesy of McCormick Foundation,
Wheaton, Illinois

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