- La Guardia, Fiorello Henry
- (1882-1947)Fiorello La Guardia was born in New York City and raised in Arizona. His family went to Trieste, Italy, in 1898, and La Guardia worked for the United States consular service. From 1904 to 1906, he was acting consular agent in Fiume (now Croatia). He returned to the United States in 1907, graduated from New York University Law School in 1910, and practiced law in New York City. During World War I, he served as a major in the U.S. Air Force in Italy. He sat in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican from 1917 to 1921 and from 1923 to 1933 . He was president of the New York City Board of Aldermen from 1920 to 1921. While in Congress, La Guardia was cosponsor of the Norris-La Guardia Act. He lost his seat in Congress in the Democratic landslide of 1932, but in 1933 he was elected mayor of New York on a fusion ticket, supported by Republicans and reform groups.As mayor, he was known as “the Little Flower,” and he established a reputation for honesty and for reforming the city government. La Guardia’s administration witnessed slum clearance and public housing development, the building of hospitals and childcare facilities, the construction of roads and bridges (including the Triborough Bridge and the airport that bears his name), and the unified the public transport system. He held the office until 1945 and was president of the United States Conference of Mayors from 1936 until 1945. La Guardia established a good relationship with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and during World War II was appointed head of the U.S. Office of Civilian Defense (OCD). He found it impossible to do both jobs and was forced to drop the OCD in 1942. Weary of being mayor, he did not run again in 1945. In 1946, he became director of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, a position he held for a year.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.