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Gary is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States, 25 miles (40 km) from downtown Chicago, Illinois. Gary is adjacent to the Indiana Dunes National Park and borders southern Lake Michigan. Gary was named after lawyer Elbert Henry Gary, who was the founding chairman of the United States Steel Corporation. The city is known for its large steel mills and as the birthplace of the Jackson 5 music group.
The population of Gary was 80,294 at the 2010 census, making it the ninth-largest city in the state of Indiana. Once a prosperous steel town, it has suffered drastic population loss due to overseas competition and restructuring of the industry, falling by 55 percent from its peak of 178,320 in 1960. As with many Rust Belt cities, it suffers from unemployment, decaying infrastructure, and low literacy and educational attainment levels. It is estimated that nearly one-third of all houses in the city are unoccupied or abandoned.
Gary, Indiana, was founded in 1906 by the United States Steel Corporation as the home for its new plant, Gary Works. The city was named after lawyer Elbert Henry Gary, who was the founding chairman of the United States Steel Corporation.
Gary was the site of civil unrest in the steel strike of 1919.