University of Chicago Steps Up Quest for Obama Presidential Library

Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 02:00 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The University of Chicago is reaching out to potential rivals in a bid to land the Barack Obama presidential library and museum, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The school, which wants to build the library on Chicago's South Side, has been in touch with such competitors as the University of Illinois and the University of Hawaii.

Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet says Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Susan Sher, a University of Chicago executive and former chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama, have "discussed possible collaborations."

"We did talk about collaborating, and they are open to it, and we are open to it," Sher told Sweet.

A University of Illinois board member was also contacted by the University of Chicago, which said it wanted "to bring a cooperative spirit to the movement to bring a library to Chicago," Sweet said.

Final decisions about the location of the library and museum rest in the hands of the Obama family.

At present, there are 13 presidential libraries and museums in the United States, for Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

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