John Stroger Jr., the three-term Cook County, Ill., Board president and a longtime political force in Chicago, died Friday morning at the age of 78 of complications from a stroke he suffered in early 2006. The well-known county politician had not made a public appearance since the debilitating stroke.

Many learned of Stroger’s death Friday morning from Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley at an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast.

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