Who Are Chicago Public Schools Named For?

Published: Dec. 30, 2020
By Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times.
Design and data by Andy Boyle and Caroline Hurley, Chicago Sun-Times.

Across Chicago, at least 30 public schools are named for people who owned or traded enslaved Black or indigenous people, the Chicago Sun-Times has found.

Some were Southern plantation owners, like Presidents George Washington and James Madison or U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall. Others, perhaps surprisingly to some, were Northerners, like John Hancock, William Penn and Alexander Hamilton.

Chicago Public Schools officials say they weren’t aware of how many schools remain named for people involved in slavery until shown the findings of the Sun-Times analysis.

Who was your public school in Chicago named after? Use our tool to look up a little of the history behind the namesakes of each school.

Read more Sun-Times education coverage