Gary is a city with a population of about 80,000 in the northwest of the state of Indiana and is part of the Greater Chicago. It is characterized by the steel industry and is now in a structurally and financially precarious situation as a result of its decline. The city is located on the shores of Lake Michigan on the border with Illinois.
|nickname: City in Motion, City of the Century, GI, Magic City of Steel, The Steel City|
In the center of Gary
|Situation in Indiana|
|Time zone:||Central (UTC-6/-5)|
- metropolitan area:
|80,294 (status: 2010)|
9.572.572 (Situation at: 2010)
|population density:||617.2 inhabitants per km2|
|area:||148.3 km2 (approx. 57 mi2)|
of which 130.1 km2 (approx. 50 mi2) country
|area code:||+1 219|
The song "Gary, Indiana" from the musical The Music Man is relatively well known in the English-speaking world. In the song is told truthfully that the name of the city of Elbert H. Gary, a man of "judicial glory." Gary was the CEO of US Steel when it set up a steel mill that was the foundation of the city. He was a judge in DuPage County before, and he remained known as "Judge Gary" after that.
Gary is the home of the musical family Jackson including Michael Jackson, born here in 1958. The name of the city was also known by the educator William Albert Wirt (1874-1938) and the model of teaching he created, called the Garysystem.
Gary, Indiana was founded in 1906 by the United States Steel Corporation as a site for the new plant, Gary Works. The city was named after the lawyer and later judge Elbert Henry Gary, one of the founders of the United States Steel Corporation.
The development of Gary is closely linked to the US steel industry. Their growth brought prosperity to the city. Broadway Avenue became the business center of the region. department stores and architecturally important cinemas were built in the city center and in the Glen Park district.
In the 1960s, Gary, like many other US cities that had developed in a single industry, was dragged into a downward economic spiral. Gary suffered in particular from the increasing competitiveness of steel production outside the US. This forced U.S. Steel to make numerous redundancies in the Gary region.
In the 20th century, Gary's population structure changed significantly. This was accompanied by political changes, which led Gary to one of the first cities to have an African-American mayor, Richard G. Hatcher, got. In 1972, the National Black Political Convention was held here.
Between 1960 and 1990, the surrounding municipalities of Merrillville and Crown Point grew rapidly. However, the flight of white families (White Flight), the economic downturn and increasing crime have led to a further brain drain.
In the 1990's and early 21st century, Gary had the highest share of African-American citizens in a city of 100,000 (about 84% according to the 2000 US census). The population of Gary has since fallen below 100,000.
U.S. Steel remains the largest employer in the region, but only with a fraction of its former employees. While previous manufacturing employment could no longer be achieved, service-sector jobs emerged - for example, in the two casinos that opened along the Gary Lakeshores in the 1990's. Today, Gary is a city that has to address the difficulties of the Rust Belt, such as unemployment, decaying infrastructure, and low levels of education.
The city is located at the southern end of Lake Michigan. The town was built on sand, which also dominates its coastline.
Gary's urban area is a T form. The northern border is directly on the Lake of Michigan. At the northwestern end, Gary borders Hammond (Indiana) and Chicago. Miller Beach is located at the eastern end, bordering Lake Station, Indiana and Portage. Gary borders on Griffith, Hobart, Merrillville, Indiana and Ross, Indiana to the south.
Since the 1960s, the steelworks and its suppliers had to lay off thousands of workers. The population of Gary has since declined by more than half. Accordingly, large parts of the city are almost abandoned today. Due to the ruins that are becoming more and more widespread, the city is now called the "Pompeii of the Middle West".
According to the 2000 US census, Gary was the largest city with the highest proportion of African-American population (85.3%) in the US.
¹ 1980-2000: census results; 2005: continuation of the US Census Bureau
Sons and daughters of the city
- Charles Adkins (1932-1993), Olympic champion in the box
- Mousey Alexander (1922-1988), jazz drummer
- Ben Aronov (1932-2015), Jazzpianist
- Frank Borman (* 1928), astronaut
- Elizabeth Brown Pryor (1951-2015), diplomat and historian
- Joan Faulkner (* before 1960), jazz singer
- Bianca Ferguson (* 1955), actress
- Darius Garland (* 2000), basketball player
- Freddie Gibbs (* 1982), Rapper
- Jackie Jackson (* 1951), former member of the Jackson Five
- Janet Jackson (* 1966), singer, dancer and actress
- Jermaine Jackson (* 1954), singer
- La Toya Jackson (* 1956), pop singer and Playboy model
- Marlon Jackson (* 1957), singer and musician, a founding member of the Jackson Five
- Michael Jackson (1958-2009), singer, songwriter and entertainer
- Randy Jackson (* 1961), singer and musician, member of the Jackson Five
- Rebbie Jackson (* 1950), member of the Jackson family
- Tito Jackson (* 1953), singer
- Alex Karras (1935-2012), American football player and actor
- Robert Kearns (1927-2005), inventor of the interval wiper
- Quadre Lollis (* 1973), professional basketball player
- James McCracken (1926-1988), singer
- E. Parker McDougal (1924-1994), jazz musician
- Karen McDougal (* 1971), Photo Model and Actress
- Ralph McQuarrie (1929-2012), concept designer and futurist
- King Perry (1920-1990), Rhythm & Blues musician
- John Rapson (* 1953), jazz posaunist and university teacher
- Paul A. Samuelson (1915-2009), economist and Nobel Prize winner 1970
- Joseph E. Stiglitz (* 1943), economist and Nobel Prize winner 2001
- Deniece Williams (* 1950), R&B singer
- Tony Zale (1913-1997), midweight world champion in professional boxing
persons who worked on the spot
- Katie Hall (1938-2012), politician and Member of the House of Representatives of the United States
- Karl Malden (1912-2009), actor, main actor in the TV series The streets of San Francisco
- The American feature film Original Gangstas (1996) plays in Gary.