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  The 5 Best Big-City Mayors
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Last EditedCOSDem  Apr 18, 2005 07:08pm
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MediaWeekly News Magazine - TIME Magazine
News DateTuesday, April 19, 2005 01:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionThe best mayors in U.S. history have been great characters—showmen and radicals and bullies and rebels. Then again, so have the worst.
Fiorello LaGuardia, who ruled New York from 1934 to '45, besides reforming and rebuilding his city, was famous for smashing slot machines with a sledgehammer and reading the comics to children over the radio during a newspaper strike. On the other hand, Chicago's William (Big Bill) Thompson, first elected in 1915, kept a picture of his good buddy Al Capone on his office wall and once conducted a debate between himself and two white rats, which he placed onstage to represent his political opponents.

It is tempting to judge our mayors for the little things that make city life livable, the depth of the potholes, the smell of the streets, whether or not the traffic lights are in synch. But the best mayors have also been those who act on a grand scale, building bridges, saving schools, finding the funds that cities forever lack.

The Top Five

-Richard M. Daley (D), Chicago
-Shirley Franklin (D), Atlanta
-John Hickenlooper (D), Denver
-Martin O'Malley (D), Baltimore
-Michael Bloomberg (R), New York City
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