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Alioto, Joseph L. (12 February 1916–29 January 1998), businessman and mayor, was born Joseph Lawrence Alioto in San Francisco, California, the son of Giuseppe Alioto, a businessman, and Domenica Lazio Alioto. After receiving his early education in local parochial schools, he earned a B.A. from St. Mary's College in Moraga, California, in 1937. An excellent student, he entered the law school at Catholic University on a scholarship and received his J.D. in 1940. Although he gained admittance to the California bar that same year, he remained in Washington and began working at the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. He married Angelina Genaro on 2 June 1941; the couple would have six children....

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Baker, Newton Diehl (03 December 1871–25 December 1937), lawyer, mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, and secretary of war, was born in Martinsburg, West Virginia, the son of Newton Diehl Baker, a physician and former Confederate soldier, and Mary Ann Dukehart. Baker graduated in 1892 from Johns Hopkins University, where he first met ...

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Newton D. Baker Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-101852).

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Cermak, Anton Joseph (09 May 1873–06 March 1933), mayor of Chicago, Illinois, was born in Kladno, Czechoslovakia (then a province in the Austro-Hungarian Empire), the son of Anton Cermak, a miner, and Catherine Frank. Cermak’s family arrived in the United States in 1874 and settled in Braidwood, Illinois, where young Cermak had a few years of schooling before he moved to Chicago in 1889. He engaged in a number of businesses including wood hauling, real estate, and insurance. In 1894 he married Mary Horejs, with whom he had three children. He began his political career in 1894 as an assistant precinct captain and gradually worked his way up until 1902 when he won election as state representative. From then until his death he always held one or more elective appointments in Chicago, Cook County, or the state of Illinois, as well as Democratic party offices. Beginning in 1902 he won four successive elections to the Illinois state legislature. In 1909 he was elected alderman in Chicago, representing a predominantly Czech ward. The Czech ethnic group was to be the base for his political success at the city, county, and state levels....

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Curtis, Edwin Upton (26 March 1861–28 March 1922), police commissioner and mayor of Boston, was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, the son of George Curtis, a lumber merchant and Republican politician, and Martha Ann Upton. Curtis attended the Roxbury public grammar and Latin schools and Bowdoin College (A.B. 1882; A.M. 1885; LL.D. 1914). He read law at a Boston firm and attended Boston University Law School. Admitted to the bar in 1885, he practiced law and in 1888 became secretary of the Boston Republican City Committee. Elected city clerk of Boston in 1889, he served for two years....

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DiSalle, Michael Vincent (06 January 1908–15 September 1981), attorney and politician, was born in New York City, the son of Anthony DiSalle, an entrepreneur, and Assunta D’Arcangelo. In 1911 his family moved to Toledo, Ohio, where DiSalle grew up. After graduating from Central Catholic High School, he attended Georgetown University to study law. In 1930 he married Myrtle Eugene England; they had five children. He graduated in 1931 and returned to Toledo to practice law....

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Gaston, William (03 October 1820–19 January 1894), lawyer, mayor of Boston, and governor of Massachusetts, was born in Killingly, Connecticut, the son of Alexander Gaston, a merchant, and Kesia Arnold. After graduating from Brown University in 1840 he moved to Roxbury, Massachusetts, where his parents had settled two years earlier. In 1844 he passed the bar examination and opened a practice. He married Louisa A. Beecher in 1852; they had three children....

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Gaynor, William Jay (02 February 1848–10 September 1913), jurist and mayor, was born in Whitesboro, New York, the son of Keiron K. Gaynor, a blacksmith and farmer, and Elizabeth Handwright. After attending Assumption Academy and De La Salle Institute, both run by the Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic teaching order, Gaynor entered the order as a novice in 1863 and for four years taught in parochial schools in Baltimore and Saint Louis. In 1868 he gave up teaching and studied law in Utica, New York; he was admitted to the bar in 1871. After a brief stay in Boston, Gaynor moved in 1873 to Brooklyn, New York, and the following year he married Emma Vesta Hyde. The childless marriage ended in divorce in 1881; Gaynor wed Augusta Cole Mayer in 1886 and with her had eight children, seven of whom lived to adulthood....

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Hamtramck, John Francis (19 April 1798–21 April 1858), soldier, mayor, and jurist, was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the son of John F. Hamtramck, Sr., a soldier, and Rebecca Mackenzie. When his father died in Detroit in 1803, Hamtramck fell under the guardianship of ...

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Harrison, Carter Henry (15 February 1825–28 October 1893), mayor of Chicago, was born in Fayette County, Kentucky, the son of Carter Henry Harrison, a plantation owner, and Caroline Evalind Russell. Harrison was born in a log cabin, but this did not imply poverty or deprivation, simply the newness of his family estate in the bluegrass region of Kentucky. He came from a family that traced its lineage back to the 1630s in colonial Virginia, and he was distantly related to two American presidents, ...