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Edward J. Kelly

AKA Edward Joseph Kelly

Born: 1-May-1876
Birthplace: Chicago, IL
Died: 20-Oct-1950
Location of death: Chicago, IL
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Calvary Cemetery, Evanston, IL

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Politician
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Mayor of Chicago, 1933-47

Edward J. Kelly worked in Chicago's Sanitary Department for 30 years, rising to become chief engineer. He was then transferred to the Park Board, where he oversaw beautification of the city's lakefront. In 1933, when Mayor Anton J. Cermak was accidentally assassinated (the killer's target was President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt), City Councilman Frank J. Corr was named Mayor by his fellow Council members. But when Democrats decided that Kelly would be a better choice, Corr complied and resigned 32 days after taking office. Kelly was then named Mayor by the City Council, and he was subsequently elected to that office in 1935.

During his 14 years as Mayor, politicians and police were widely known to be corrupt, and the City Council offered little challenge to Kelly's edicts. He promised "restraint" after Chicago Police opened fire on union picketers, killing ten in the Memorial Day Massacre of 1937, and his generally-acknowledged accomplishments include construction of the city's State Street subway line and appointing blacks to unprecedented positions of authority in city government -- which drew large numbers of black voters who had previously backed Republicans. Along with his crony, millionaire Patrick Nash, Kelly assembled much of the Democratic Party political patronage machine that effectively ruled Chicago for decades.

Father: Stephen Kelly (policeman)
Mother: Helen Lang Kelly
Wife: Mary Edmunda Roche (m. 1910, d. 1918, one child)
Wife: Margaret Ellen Kirk (m. 1922, three children)

    Mayor of Chicago (17-Apr-1933 to 15-Apr-1947)
    Democratic National Committee (1947)

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