Fiorello La Guardia

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Fiorello La Guardia
Mayor La Guardia speaks over WNYC on Grade A milk from Budget Room, 1940.
99th Mayor of New York City
In office
1 Janury 1934 – 31 December 1945
Preceded by John P. O'Brien
Succeeded by William O'Dwyer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 20th district
In office
March 4, 1923 – March 3, 1933
Preceded by Isaac Siegel
Succeeded by James J. Lanzetta
10th President of the New York City Board of Aldermen
In office
January 1, 1920 – December 31, 1921
Preceded by Robert L. Moran
Succeeded by Murray Hulbert
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 14th district
In office
March 4, 1917 – December 31, 1919
Preceded by Michael F. Farley
Succeeded by Nathan D. Perlman
Personal details
Died 20 September 1947
Bronx, New York City
Political party Republican
Religion Episcopalian

Fiorello Henry La Guardia (sometimes LaGuardia) (pronounced /fiəˈrɛloʊ ləˈɡwɑrdiə/; born Fiorello Enrico La Guardia) was Mayor of New York City for three terms from 1934 to 1945 as a liberal Republican. He was elected to Congress in 1916 and 1918, and again from 1922 through 1930. La Guardia and is often touted as one of the three or four greatest mayors in American history. Since he was only five feet tall and his first name was Italian for "Little Flower", he was called "the Little Flower" throughout his life.

La Guardia, a Republican who was liked across party lines, was very popular in New York during the Great Depression. As a New Dealer, he supported President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democrat, and in turn Roosevelt heavily funded the city and cut off patronage from many politicians and establishments who did not support La Guardia. Many people felt that La Guardia improved New York City economically and socially and restored public faith in City Hall. During his terms, he unified the transit system, directed the building of low-cost public housing, public playgrounds, and parks, constructed airports, reorganized the police force, defeated the powerful political machine Tammany Hall and improved employment rates in New York City, even during the depression. In the mid-1940's There was a newspaper strike in New York City. La Guardia responded to the public clamor by sitting at a radio microphone and describing and reading the Sunday comics to the children of the city. He described the cartoons and portrayed the dialects and accents of the characters. This endeared La Guardia to the electorate and the children of New York and gave him a larger national image.