News & Politics » Year In Review

Family Feuds





Virginia McCaskey, the Bears' largest shareholder


Michael McCaskey, former Bears president

FAMILY TROUBLE: Mikey's abysmal management drove the Bears from 1986 Super Bowl champs to 4-12 seasons in 1997 and '98. But mom kept quiet, publicly at least, until this year, when Mikey announced he'd hired Dave McGinnis as the new head coach--before McGinnis agreed to a contract. McGinnis split. "This time, Michael McCaskey Messed up a one-car parade," wrote Don Pierson in the Tribune. The Sun-Times's Jay Mariotti gloated, "We would cry if we weren't laughing so hard."

RESOLUTION: Mom punted Mikey to the ceremonial position of chairman of the board and replaced him with Ted Phillips, the first non family member to run the team.

KEY QUOTE: Mikey, as if he'd hired Phillips himself. "I thought a fresh start could help us."



Edward Altman Jr., former Chicago fire commissioner


Edward Altman III, former head of the Chicago Fire Department's internal affairs unit

FAMILY TROUBLE: Eddie got fired in 1998 for allegedly not telling his superiors--including dad--about the infamous firehouse-party videotape. Eddie sued the city on October 4, claiming he did tell dad about it and dad lied to save his own job. According to Eddie's suit, when dad told him the bad, news, he added, "Sorry Ed, this is how city politics is." Eddie spilled his guts to the Tribune the day before he filed suit, so we now know that Eddie's entire family has ostracized him since Eddie's wife publicly rebuked dad for abandoning his son. Less than two weeks after Eddie filed suit, dad resigned.

RESOLUTION: The suit is pending.

KEY QUOTE: Eddie on his dad's resignation: "I hope I wasn't responsible, but it was something, I had to do."



Julie Ann Wrigley


William Wrigley


William Wrigley Jr.

FAMILY TROUBLE: Chewing-gum scion William Wrigley and third wife Julie Ann began fighting over the family estate in 1998 after Julie Ann filed for divorce. William, the company chairman, cut Julie Ann out of his will and declared her dead for purposes of inheritance. Julie Ann tried to gain approval power over any spending of the family trust money. Then the family's financial planning and investment firm booted Julie Ann from her positions there as president and chief executive officer. But William died of pneumonia March 8, accidentally leaving his widow entitled to part of the estate after all. Son Billy took over the company and estate.

RESOLUTION: It took until October 18, but Julie Ann and the Wrigley estate agreed to a settlement that unfortunately was not made public.

KEY QUOTE: After William's death Julie Ann issued this statement: "Although we grew apart in later years, I am proudly grateful to have known Bill and helped build the Wrigley interests. His death has left all who know him deeply saddened."


Add a comment