- Daniel L. Flaherty
- Cornelius Amory Pugsley Local Medal Award, 1964
- Daniel L. Flaherty (1898-1976) received the local level Pugsley Medal in 1964. He earned his bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois. He began his park career as a junior clerk in the South Park System of Chicago in 1921. He served for more than forty years in it and its successor agency the Chicago Park District which was formed by combining three park districts: South Parks, West Parks, and Lincoln Park. He was promoted to purchasing agent for the South Park System, and when the Chicago Park District was created in 1934 Flaherty was named assistant auditor. Within a short period of time he became assistant director of the Division of Finance and Property.
In 1942 Flaherty took a leave from the park district to become director of the Chicago service men's center which had opened in 1941. This facility occupied 14 floors of the old Elks Club building in Chicago, and in a single weekend reported entertaining 38,450 men. Later it expanded to incorporate a country club auxiliary on 12 acres in Lincoln Park and another auxiliary "catering especially to colored soldiers and sailors" on Chicago's south side. It was the biggest and busiest institution of its kind in the world, and all services were free of charge to service men. Everything for the center was donated -- the building; the equipment and furnishings; the services of the staff; the food, drink and cigarettes; and all entertainment. Flaherty's salary was paid by the park district during this period; along with those of two other park district executives whom he recruited to assist him.
- When the war ended, Flaherty returned to the park district in 1946 as assistant general superintendent. He remained in this role until 1960 when he was appointed general superintendent, succeeding George Donoghue, until his retirement in 1963. During his term as general superintendent, the Children's Zoo in Lincoln Park was constructed which familiarized an urban community with farm and indigenous animals. He also initiated the Grant Park young people's concerts and oversaw development of a 2,000 car underground parking garage in Grant Park.
- Perhaps his greatest contribution was his commitment to in-service training both within the department and in the broader context of the parks field. In 1948, Flaherty became chairman of the Great Lakes Training Institute, and remained in that position until his retirement fifteen years later. He was a pioneer in recognizing the value both to the Chicago Park District and to the broader parks field of exchanging information in professional forums. In recognition of his leadership in developing professional training, Flaherty was made an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Park Executives in 1957, while the Great Lakes Training Institute initiated the annual Daniel L. Flaherty Award for Park Excellence in his honor. The Chicago Park District recognized his contributions by establishing the Daniel Flaherty Rose Garden.