Gary, Indiana

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Gary is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The city is in the southeastern portion of the Chicago metropolitan area and is 25 miles from downtown Chicago. The population was 102,746 at the 2000 census, making it the fifth-largest city in the state. Gary was once the second-largest city in Indiana, behind Indianapolis, a position now held by Fort Wayne. It borders Lake Michigan and is best known for its large steel mills.



The city was founded in 1906 by the United States Steel Corporation as the home for its new plant. The city was named after the lawyer and founding chairman of U.S. Steel, Elbert H. Gary.

Among U.S. cities with a population of 100,000 or more, Gary has the highest percentage of African Americans, 84% (as of the 2000 U.S. census). Gary had one of the nation's first African-American mayors, Richard G. Hatcher, and hosted the ground-breaking 1972 National Black Political Convention. At the same time, Gary suffered from many affluent and middle-class residents leaving Gary and relocating to the surrounding towns and cities. Because of the loss of jobs in the city, many people left the area altogether for regions with employment.

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