Monday, April 14, 2014

Some Mayors of Boston who had been members of the General Court

Martin J. Walsh
On January 6th of this year, Martin J. Walsh became Boston’s 54th Mayor. Walsh had had a long career in state government, having served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1997 until his swearing-in as Mayor. He follows a long list of Mayors of the city who were also in the Massachusetts legislature. When he was in the House of Representatives, Walsh represented the 13th Suffolk District. He had been elected in a special election in 1997 and was in that seat until his resignation on January 3rd of this year.

Raymond Flynn
Mayor Raymond Flynn, elected in 1983, was the city’s 52nd Mayor. He had represented the people of the 7th Suffolk District in the House of Representatives from 1971 through 1979. In 1978 and for the years directly before he was elected Mayor, he was a member of the Boston City Council. Flynn became Mayor in January 1984 and served until he resigned his position after being appointed on July 1st, 1993 by President William Jefferson Clinton to serve as the United States Ambassador to the Holy See.

John F. Collins
Mayor John F. Collins was elected to two Mayoral terms and was in the office of Mayor from 1960 through January of 1968.  He was the 50th Mayor of the city.  Previously, he was a member of both houses of the General Court, in the House from January 1947 until January 1951 and in the Senate from 1951 through 1954. The House district was the 10th Suffolk and the Senate the 5th Suffolk. After leaving the Mayorship, Collins worked as a news analyst for Boston’s Channel 7 and became a Professor of Urban Affairs at M.I.T.

James Michael Curley
Perhaps one of the best known politicians from Massachusetts, James Michael Curley, served as 41st, 43rd, 45th and 48th Mayors of Boston. His years in that office were 1914-1918, 1922-1926, 1930-1934 and lastly, 1946-1950. During his last term, having been indicted for mail fraud, he was imprisoned for five months. Curley’s political path took him to the Governorship and to membership in Congress. His term in the General Court was short and covered the years 1902-1903. The District he represented at that time was known as District No.17- Ward 17.

Massachusetts is  known for its political culture and for a history deeply touched by the political process.

The State Library of Massachusetts is the perfect place to research Massachusetts officeholders, such as these examples of Mayors of the capital city.  To learn more about these four political figures and to garner much more about their careers, please visit us in Room 341 of the Massachusetts State House.

Pamela W. Schofield
Legislative Reference Librarian