LA GUARDIA, FIORELLO HENRY (1882–1947), U.S. congressman and mayor of New York City. La Guardia, who was born in New York City to a mother of Jewish descent and an Italian father, was raised as a Protestant. At the age of 20, La Guardia was appointed U.S. consul in Fiume. He resigned in 1907 and returned to the U.S., where he worked as an interpreter at the Ellis Island immigrant reception center while attending New York University Law School. He was thus intimately acquainted with the needs and feelings of immigrants and spoke their languages, Yiddish included. His career was built upon their support. Elected to Congress on the Republican and Progressive tickets in 1916, La Guardia represented a Manhattan district composed primarily of Jews and Italians. He resigned his seat in 1917 to enlist in the army. Upon his discharge, La Guardia resumed his duties in Congress in 1918. There he sponsored a resolution calling on the U.S. to protest antisemitic outbreaks in Poland and Eastern Europe at the Paris Peace Conference. In 1919 La Guardia was elected president of the New York Board of Aldermen on the Republican ticket, and in 1922 he was again elected to Congress as a Republican. His party allegiance was nominal, for his reelection in 1924 was on the Socialist and Progressive tickets. Until his defeat in 1932, La Guardia was a consistent supporter of progressive causes and of legislation benefiting the urban poor. La Guardia was elected to three terms as mayor of New York City on a Republican-Fusion American Labor Party ticket in 1933, 1937, and 1941. During his mayoralty, he became celebrated as the "Little Flower" for the vigor, earthiness, and flamboyance of his manner. He fought Tammany Hall and corruption-tainted politics, and greatly improved the honesty and scope of municipal services. The city was improved by a vast new network of parks, bridges, schools, and highways. In his urban New Deal, La Guardia drew massive Jewish support away from the Democratic Party. He effectively courted the Jewish voter with a combination of liberal policies, appointment of qualified Jews as officials, and personal style. He did not hesitate to create international incidents in this   connection. A 1937 speech which depicted Hitler as a fanatic who deserved a place in the "World's Fair Chamber of Horrors" brought official complaints from the German embassy in Washington and official State Department apologies. La Guardia's service in 1946 as director general of the UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration was marked by a sympathetic disposition toward Jewish DP's and by controversy, which ended when he resigned in December of the same year. He wrote The Making of an Insurgent, an Autobiography, 18821919 (1948). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. Garrett, La Guardia Years, Machine and Reform Politics in New York City (1961); A. Mann, La Guardia, A Fighter Against His Times (1959); H. Zinn, La Guardia in Congress (1959).

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • La Guardia,Fiorello Henry — La Guar·di·a (lə gwärʹdē ə), Fiorello Henry. Known as “the Little Flower.” 1882 1947. American politician who was a U.S. representative from New York (1917 1921 and 1923 1933) and mayor of New York City (1934 1945). * * * …   Universalium

  • 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 …   Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era

  • Fiorello Henry LaGuardia — LaGuardia Statue auf dem LaGuardia Place in Greenwich Village Fiorello Enrico „Henry“ LaGuardia (* …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fiorello Henry LaGuardia — n. Fiorello La Guardia (1882 1947), U.S. lawyer, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, mayor of New York City (1933 1945) …   English contemporary dictionary

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  • La Guardia, Fiorello H. — ▪ mayor of New York City in full  Fiorello Henry La Guardia   born , Dec. 11, 1882, New York, N.Y., U.S. died Sept. 20, 1947, New York       American politician and lawyer who served three terms (1933–45) as mayor of New York City.       La… …   Universalium

  • Fiorello La Guardia — LaGuardia redirects here. For the airport, see LaGuardia Airport. For other meanings, see La Guardia. Fiorello La Guardia 99th Mayor of New York City In office January …   Wikipedia

  • Fiorello H. La Guardia — Infobox Officeholder name = Fiorello Henry La Guardia caption = order = Mayor of New York City term start = January 1, 1934 term end = December 31, 1945 predecessor = John P. O Brien successor = William O Dwyer birth date = birth… …   Wikipedia

  • henry — /hen ree/, n., pl. henries, henrys. Elect. the SI unit of inductance, formally defined to be the inductance of a closed circuit in which an electromotive force of one volt is produced when the electric current in the circuit varies uniformly at a …   Universalium

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