Chicago Remembers Mayor Lightfoot's Campaign Chairman, Activist Michael Bauer

Ariel Parrella-Aureli
August 30, 2019 - 9:26 pm

(Steve Miller/WBBM)

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s campaign chairman and longtime activist Michael Bauer has died after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Bauer, who was an attorney as well as an outspoken LGBTQ activist and longtime player in Chicago's political scene, was 66 years old and died Aug. 29.  

Bauer, a Chicago native, was the son of Holocaust survivors and embraced his Jewish and gay identity, according to a statement by Lightfoot. She said he made sure the six million Jews murdured in the genocide were not forgotten and committed himself to "creating a world where all are loved for who they are."

"Yesterday, Chicago lost a giant, and I lost a friend and mentor," Lightfoot wrote. "Without Michael Bauer, I would not be where I am today. From fighting for LGBTQ rights to raising HIV/AIDS awareness, Michael dedicated his life to pushing our city and society forward — and he succeeded."

Besides Lightfoot, Windy City Times reported that Bauer worked on campaigns for Judges Tom Chiola and Sebastian Patti; U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Dick Durbin; and Ald. Tom Tunney. He said he was inspired by the activism of physician Ron Sable, who ran to be 44th Ward alderman in 1987 and 1991.

Sen. Dick Durbin also mourned the loss of Bauer, calling him a friend and a strong leader in spreading awareness about the realities of gay men.

"Twenty-five years ago, he and his partner Roger were early and important allies in my first camopaign for the Senate," Durbin wrote on Twitter.

Several other city, state leaders and LGBTQ community members chimed in to share prayers and memories of Bauer, who touched numerous lives in overlapping communities.

Cook County Board Comissioner Kevin Morrison said Chicago lost "a true LGBTQ activist."

Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough also mourned Bauer's death, calling him one of the most respected advocates for equality. 

"Michael Bauer's life will not soon be forgotten," Yarbrough said.

His funeral is Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago.