LaGuardia, Fiorello Henry
With the backing of Samuel Seabury, LaGuardia successfully ran (1933) for mayor of New York City on the Fusion ticket. As mayor he executed a vast program of reform. He reduced political corruption, forwarded the modernization and beautification of the city, brought about the adoption (1938) of a new city charter, introduced slum clearance projects, and improved health and sanitary conditions.
The Little Flower (from his first name), a shrewd, nonpartisan, and uncorruptable spokesman for urban America, was reelected mayor of New York City for three consecutive four-year terms, but chose not to run again in 1945. LaGuardia served (1946) as director of the UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. His courage, enthusiasm, and energy made him a nationally known figure.
See his autobiography (ed. by M. L. Werner, 1948, repr. 1961); biography by A. Mann (2 vol., 1959–65, repr. 1969); E. Cuneo, Life with Fiorello (1955); H. Zinn, LaGuardia in Congress (1959, repr. 1969); T. Kessner, Fiorello H. LaGuardia and the Making of Modern New York (1989); A. Brodsky, The Great Mayor (2003); M. B. Williams, City of Ambition (2013).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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