Little Flower: The rise of Fiorello LaGuardia — NYC's first Italian-American mayor

Aug 30, 2017 1297

BY: Jonathan Lewin

"I can't take off and I can't land, but I sure can fly." - bomber pilot Fiorello LaGuardia, 1918. The Little Flower always knew he'd make a great New York mayor. By 1933 he'd been waiting years for the job.

As an anti-Tammany liberal Republican, Fiorello LaGuardia attracted national attention in Congress, but he could never build a constituency in his own heavily Democratic town. Now, with Jimmy Walker deposed, civic leaders at last were looking for a fusion candidate with LaGuardia's previously unfashionable reform opinions. There was only one problem. The one candidate they absolutely refused to consider was Fiorello LaGuardia.

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