Novelist Saul Bellow thanks the crowd, including Mayor Richard Daley, left, and Maggie Daley, right, that sang Happy Birthday to him at his 75th birthday party in Chicago in October 1990. The scene was unprecedented in Chicago, even if it happened to mark the 75th birthday of the redoubtable Saul Bellow, and even if his birthday was actually in June. ("I've been out of town," Bellow said.) Mayor Richard Daley, who was the host of the dinner salute at the Art Institute, said that recognition by city fathers of Bellow's accomplishments was "long overdue." He thanked the Nobel laureate not only for "adding a great deal of vitality to the city" but also for inspiring him personally-through the books and in private conversations-to become "a more compassionate man." Maggie Daley presented Bellow with a book of Chicago-related excerpts from his writings-with handmade binding and an original woodcut drawing by Barbara Lazarus Metz of Artists Book Works.
Chuck Berman, Chicago Tribune