Monday, November 18, 2013

Nov. - Mayor Jimmy Walker Died, Larry King Born

Life of Walker by Walsh.
NYC Mayor William H. ("Jimmy") Walker (1926-32) died this day in 1946 at 65. He was installed by Tammany Hall and did well for a few years, overhauling the Sanitation Department. But he became enamored of being the "Mayor of the Jazz Age" and being called "Gentleman Jimmy", and became known for spending a lot of time at the speakeasies.

When the stock market crashed during his first term, Cardinal Archbishop Patrick Hayes pronounced the cause as Mayor Walker and his permitting of casinos and girlie magazines. Al Smith (Governor, 1923-28) supported Walker, who was reelected in 1929, but FDR (Governor 1929-32), with his eye on the presidency, was less forgiving. In the end, a corruption scandal (pay-to-play by municipal contractors) blew up and Walker resigned.

Larry King, born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger in 1933, King is the son of immigrants who ran a Brooklyn bar & grill. He got his start with a Miami radio station and for many years ran a hugely successful interview and call-in show. Now 80 years old, he "hung up his suspenders" at CNN but continues to appear on a variety of shows.