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Former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley hospitalized after business trip

Guoji Shangbao/Imaginechina via AP.

Then Chicago Mayor Richard Daley in 2011.

Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is in the intensive care unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, officials said Saturday.

The mayor was taken to the hospital Friday evening after returning from Arizona on business feeling ill.

Law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, where Daley holds a counsel job, and Daley spokesperson Jackie Heard sent out this statement Saturday:

"Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, 71, was taken by ambulance to Northwestern Memorial Hospital after returning yesterday (Friday) evening from Arizona on business feeling ill. He is in Northwestern's ICU for monitoring and evaluation. Mayor Daley's family is with him and they are visiting between tests."

Heard said Daley communicated with his family that he wasn't feeling well in Phoenix and that the family sent an ambulance to Midway because "otherwise he might not go [to the hospital]."

Daley walked to the ambulance, however, sources tell NBC Chicago's Ward Room blogger Mark Anderson that he was brought into the hospital by a stretcher.

Heard would not describe the nature of Daley's symptoms, but insists he lives a healthy lifestyle.

A former state senator and county prosecutor, Daley was elected mayor in 1989, to complete the term of the late Harold Washington.

He was the longest serving Chicago mayor, holding the top seat for six terms before announcing in 2010 that he would not run again for office.

This is a developing story. Check back for details.