Park Ridge is an affluent Chicago suburb with a population at the 2010 census of 37,480 residents. It is located 15 miles (24 km) northwest of downtown Chicago. It is close to O'Hare International Airport, major expressways, and rail transportation. It is a part of the Chicago metropolitan area, bordering two northwestern neighborhoods of Chicago's Far North Side (Edison Park and Norwood Park).
As its name suggests, Park Ridge lies on a ridge. The soil is abundant with clay deposits, which made it a brick-making center for the developing city of Chicago. Park Ridge was originally called Pennyville to honor George Penny, the businessman who owned the local brickyard along with Robert Meacham. Later it was named Brickton. The Des Plaines River divides Park Ridge from neighboring Des Plaines, which is west of Park Ridge. Chicago is south and east of Park Ridge, and Niles and unincorporated Maine Township are to its north.
Park Ridge is the hometown of former First Lady and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. When she visited Park Ridge on the occasion of her 50th birthday in 1997, the city renamed the southeast corner of the intersection of Elm and Wisner streets, next to her girlhood home, "Rodham Corner". Park Ridge is also the hometown of movie stars Carrie Snodgrass and Harrison Ford. All three attended Maine Township High School East, except Mrs. Clinton, the youngest of the three, spent her senior year at Maine Township High School South, a new school built to accommodate the population of baby boomers coming through at the time.
The city is home to the headquarters of the Big Ten Conference.