Bright Lights of the Second City

50 Prominent Chicagoans on Living with Passion and Purpose


We all possess the potential to attain personal satisfaction by finding and refining our passions. And the 50 remarkable Chicagoans profiled in Betsy Storm’s Bright Lights of the Second City prove it with their inspirational tales of leveraging life’s lessons to achieve lofty goals.

From activists and authors to leaders in the academic, artistic, political and medical communities, each profile provides a telling glimpse into the mind and heart of someone whose commitment to reach for his or her personal stars serves as a powerful catalyst for embarking on one’s own personal odyssey.

What “crucible moments” and early-life influences forged the development of these remarkable people? How were their destinies shaped by their family members, neighborhoods, cultures and even random events? Which books, films, songs, or pastimes do they find most meaningful?

Who challenged them to follow their passions, and what trails did they blaze? What strategies did they use to overcome the detours along the way? What compels them to still burn the midnight-oil—and to reach ever higher, spurred on by a strong sense of purpose?

Through revealing one-on-one interviews, Betsy Storm casts a clear light on the inner facets of these amazing Chicagoans’ and shares the illuminating reflections with readers in Bright Lights of the Second City.