Former Racetrack Executive Edward Duffy Dies

Former Arlington Park president and Sportsman's Park executive was 68.

Edward Duffy, a former Chicago police officer who went on to become an executive at two Illinois racetracks, died Jan. 4, 2014, in Arlington Heights, Ill., at age 68.

Duffy began his career with the Chicago Police Department and eventually became an investigator specializing in organized crime. From there, he moved on to state government as chief investigator and budget administrator for the Illinois Dangerous Drugs Commission.

His additional state positions included director of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Abuse and director of the state Department of Public Aid.

Following his career in state government, Duffy was retained by Arlington Park to oversee off-track betting operations when they were legalized in the late 1980s. Duffy was named Arlington president in 1990 and three years later moved on to become chief operation officer at Sportsman's Park.

After his departure from Sportsman's when that track ceased operations, Duffy became a lobbyist on behalf of Hawthorne Race Course.

"He always seemed to be trying to figure out how to help racing, not just the tracks that employed him," former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar told the Chicago Tribune.

Duffy is survived by his wife, Nancy, and five daughters. The family has requested contributions to The Ronan Thompson Foundation or The Truth 365.

A memorial will be held Jan. 10 at 8 p.m. CST) at the Countryside Funeral Home & Crematory in Bartlett, Ill.