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La Guardia, Fiorello

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Definition: La Guardia, Fiorello Henry from

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language

, Fiorello Henry Known as “the Little Flower.” 1882–1947.


American politician who was a US representative from New York (1917–1919 and 1923–1933) and mayor of New York City (1934–1945).

Summary Article: La Guardia, Fiorello (Henry) (1882 – 20 Sep 1947) from The Crystal Reference Encyclopedia
Lawyer, mayor, and US representative, born in New York City, New York, USA. After working from age 17 to 23 in the US consulates in Budapest, Trieste, and Fiume (Rijeka), he served as an interpreter on Ellis Island while attending New York University law school (1910 LLB). After graduating, he began his long career of social activism, doing pro bono work for immigrants. In 1916 he was elected to the US House of Representatives (Republican, New York), which he left early in 1918 to serve in the armed forces in Italy. Resuming his seat later that year, he served in Congress, with time out to serve on New York City’s Board of Aldermen (1920–2), until he was elected to the first of three terms as mayor of New York (1933). His work for housing and welfare reform, as well as his ‘common touch’, demonstrated by his reading of the Sunday comics on the radio during a newspaper strike, earned him the love of millions of New Yorkers, who knew him as ‘the Littl...    Continue Reading
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