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Abraham Ruef

Ruef, Abraham (Abe Ruef)rōf, 1864–1936, American political boss, b. San Francisco. He practiced law in San Francisco after 1886 and became a familiar figure in San Francisco ward politics. He was active in the local Republican party and later became the leader of the Union Labor party. After securing the election (1901) of Eugene Schmitz, a musician, as mayor of San Francisco, Ruef gained political control of the city and directed it with shocking corruption until he was indicted in 1906. In a sensational trial—Prosecutor Francis J. Heney was shot in the courtroom and replaced by Hiram Johnson—Ruef was convicted (1908) of bribery and was sentenced to a 14-year prison term. He was released on parole in 1915.

See W. Bean, Boss Ruef's San Francisco (1952); L. Thomas, A Debonair Scoundrel (1962).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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