Fiorello Laguardia

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Fiorello LaGuardia was born on December 11th 1882 to immigrants of Italian and Jewish ancestry in New York. He served as the mayor of New York City from 1945-1945. He is considered to be one of the mayors who redefined New York City politics. Fiorello had a very long career in politics before serving as mayor. After graduating New York University law school in 1910, LaGuardia practiced law and was appointed Deputy Attorney General. He also served many terms in Congress as a republican. LaGuardia lost his first try at the Mayor's race to Jimmy Walker in 1929, but was successful on his second try in 1933.

LaGuardia expressed his interest in the Mayoral running after he lost his final term in Congress, November 1932. On November 22, 1932 LaGuardia invited "Key men and women in politics and all walks of like to attend an anti-Tammany (present mayor) meeting at town hall" (Mann, P.66). At this meeting, LaGuardia knew that it was too early to talk about candidates. But he did offer a very clear and powerful outline of his beliefs to a reporter for the ‘nation'. He states: "While everybody is talking about the necessity of a change in our City government, there is nothing really practical, concrete and definite being done. Public opinion must not only be crystallized, but must be translated into action through the medium of an actual fighting organization of determined men and women. The election machinery cannot be over-looked. The best intentions and good will even of a majority of the people cannot, unless properly prepared, overcome the crookedness, corruption and violence of an entrenched political machine" (Mann, P. 66).

After his meeting at Town Hall, LaGuardia returned to Washington to finish his Congressional term, namely his New Deal legislation, leaving many New Yorkers something to think about. He returned to his East Harlem residence on March 4th, 1933. Although LaGuardia was a Republican, and Tammany was a Democrat; he learned...
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