City Bosses in the United States: A Study of Twenty Municipal Bosses

By Harold B. Zink | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF CITY BOSSES

Almost every type of physique can claim at least one representative from among the score of city overlords with which this study deals. "Honorable" Tweed almost wrecked the scales with his approximately three hundred pounds. Edwin H. Vare, with one leg slightly shorter than the other, stood at the opposite pole with less than half of the massive hulk of Tweed. "Poor Swede" Lundin reaches a medium height of some five feet and nine inches and weighs about one hundred and fifty pounds, but altogether, because of a quality of gauntness out of all proportion to his actual measurements, suggests the political reformer of the newspaper cartoons rather than the political boss. Hugh McLaughlin, Edward Butler, George B. Cox, Timothy D. Sullivan, Albert Alonzo Ames, and George Olvany all tipped the scales at about two hundred pounds and stood six feet or thereabouts in height. Richard Croker and John Kelly, with their one hundred and eighty-five pounds and two hundred and thirty pounds of weight respectively and lesser height, represented the stocky type. Thirteen approximated or exceeded the two-hundred-pound mark,1 four ranged around one hundred and seventy pounds,2 two averaged one hundred and fifty pounds or thereabouts,3 and only one weighed less than one hundred and fifty pounds.4 Seven of the barons stood six feet or more in height, but in no case did the height exceed six feet and two inches.5 Three varied from five feet and ten inches to five feet and eleven inches,6 eight ranged

____________________
1
Tweed, Croker, Kelly, Murphy, Olvany, T. Sullivan, Flinn, R. Sullivan, Cox, Ames, McLaughlin, Behrman, and Butler.
2
Lomasney, McManes, Durham, and Magee.
3
Lundin and Ruef.
4
Vare.
5
Olvany, T. Sullivan, McLaughlin, Cox, Flinn, Butler, and Ames.
6
Tweed, Kelly, and R. Sullivan.

-13-

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