May 6, 1925 – January 13, 2016
Lois Weisberg was the cultural affairs commissioner of Chicago, Weisberg was an influential and energetic champion of the city's arts/cultural/entertainment scene. Chicago born and bred, Weisberg had a remarkable career even before being tapped by Mayor Harold Washington to become the head of his Office of Special Events for six years. In 1989, following Washington's death, she became head of Mayor Richard M. Daley's newly created Department of Cultural Affairs. She was the longest serving member of Daley's original cabinet until leaving her post in 2011. As commissioner, she created several events -the Gallery 37 program; created the Chicago Blues Festival, the Chicago Gospel Festival, multiple citywide neighborhood festivals and the Chicago Holiday Sharing It Program. She launched Chicago's Cows on Parade exhibit, the first in the US. Before her appointment to city government, she helped found the Chicago Cultural Center and Friends of the Park. She was bestowed with many civic and arts awards, including the League of Women Voters Civic Contribution Award, Governing Magazine’s Public Official of the Year Award, the Harold Washington History Maker Award, an honorary Doctorate from Chicago's Spertus Institute and the Chicago Tribune “Chicagoan of the Year” award. Lois was a devoted Grandmother, mother & wife.