| Fiorello LaGuardia |
|Alma mater||New York University|
Fiorello Henry LaGuardia was an American attorney and politician who represented New York in the House of Representatives and served as the 99th Mayor of New York City from 1934 to 1945. Known for his irascible, energetic, and charismatic personality and diminutive, rotund stature, La Guardia is acclaimed as one of the greatest mayors in American history. La Guardia was frequently cross-endorsed by parties other than his own, including the Democratic Party, under New York's electoral fusion laws.
Before serving as mayor, La Guardia represented Manhattan in Congress and on the New York City Board of Aldermen. As mayor, during the Great Depression and World War II, La Guardia unified the city's transit system; expanded construction of public housing, playgrounds, parks, and airports; reorganized the New York Police Department; and implemented federal New Deal programs within the city. He pursued a long series of political reforms, curbing the power of the powerful Tammany Hall political machine and re-establishing merit-based employment and promotion within city administration.
La Guardia was also a major national political figure. His support for the New Deal and relationship with President Franklin D. Roosevelt crossed party lines, brought federal funds to New York City, and cut off patronage to La Guardia's enemies. La Guardia's WNYC radio program "Talk to the People", which aired from December 1941 until December 1945, expanded his public influence beyond the borders of the city.
- He was ranked first in Melvin G. Holli, The American Mayor (1993)
- Kessner 1989.