CURLEY, James Michael

1874–1958

Biography

CURLEY, James Michael, a Representative from Massachusetts; born in Boston, Mass., November 20, 1874; attended the public schools of Boston; salesman for Logan, Johnston & Co., a bakers' and confectioners' supply firm; engaged in the real-estate and insurance business; member of the Boston common council in 1900-1902; served in the State house of representatives in 1902-1904; member of the Boston board of aldermen 1904-1910; member of the Boston City Council in 1910-1912; elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-second and Sixty-third Congresses and served from March 4, 1911, until his resignation, effective February 4, 1914, having been elected mayor of Boston, in which capacity he served from 1914 to 1918; unsuccessful candidate for re-election to mayor of Boston in 1917; unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for the United States House of Representatives in 1918; president of Hibernia Savings Bank, Boston, Mass.; again served as mayor, 1922-1926 and 1930-1934; unssuccessful candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in 1924; Governor of Massachusetts 1935-1937; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the United States Senate in 1936; unsuccessful candidate for mayor of Boston in 1937 and again in 1941; member of the Democratic National Committee in 1941 and 1942; elected to the Seventy-eighth and Seventy-ninth Congresses (January 3, 1943-January 3, 1947); was not a candidate for renomination in 1946; again elected mayor of Boston on November 6, 1945, and served until January 1950; unsuccessful candidate for re-election for mayor of Boston in 1949; unsuccessful candidate for mayor of Boston in 1951 and 1955; appointed a member of the State Labor Relations Commission in 1957; died in Boston, Mass., November 12, 1958; interment in Old Calvary Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: In the Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, 1935, 1 letter. Letter of James Michael Curley, 1935.

Massachusetts Historical Society

Boston, MA
Papers: In the Leverett Saltonstall Autograph Collection, ca. 1930-1996, 3 boxes and 1 volume in cases. Correspondents include James Michael Curley. An unpublished folder list is available in the library.

Wagner College

Staten Island, NY
Papers: In the Markham Manuscript Collection, 1905, 1 page. A letter from James M. Curley to Edwin Markham written on May 15, 1905. In the letter, James Curley writes that he is in favor of the fundrasier which will cancel the mortgage on the Henry Wadsworth Longefellow building in Maine.
Papers: In the Markham Manuscript Collection, 1922, 1 page. A letter from James M. Curley to Edwin Markham written on September 19, 1922. In the letter, James Curley is giving a letter of recommendation to Mrs. Johnson the wife of the Commissionaoner of the Institutions Department.
Papers: In the Markham Manuscript Collection, 1930, 1 page. A letter from James M. Curley to Edwin Markham written on July 25, 1930. In the letter, James Curley writes that this letter is written by the Director of Public Celebrations of Boston. James Curley is now the Mayor of Boston and they are extending an invitation to Markham to write a ode or poem for the "Tercentenary year of 1930" for Boston. The ex-President Coolidge will deliver the address at the event. There is a personal note at the end of the letter from Curley telling Markham that Boston needs him.
Papers: In the Markham Manuscript Collection, 1934, 1 page. A letter from James M. Curley to Edwin Markham written on September 26, 1934. James Curley is now running for Governor of Boston and this letter is written on Headquarters paper. This letter is informing Markham that Florence Hamilton will communicate the campaign progress to him.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Beatty, Jack. The Rascal King: The Life and Times of James Michael Curley. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1993.

Curley, James Michael. "Hurrah for Curley by Curley." Life 41 (10 September 1956): 120-122+.

------. I'd Do It Again: A Record of All My Uproarious Years. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1957. Reprint, New York: Arno Press, 1976.

Dinneen, Joseph F. Purple Shamrock: The Honorable James Michael Curley of Boston. New York: Norton, 1949.

Foley, William J. "Public Speaking in the Political Career of James M. Curley." Ph.D. diss., University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1953.

Howie, Wendell Dearborn. The reign of James the First; a historical record of the administration of James M. Curley as governor of Massachusetts. A foreword by Hon. Gaspar G. Bacon. [Cambridge, Mass.: Warren Publications, Inc., 1936].

Johnson, Robert. Curley: The Musical. Book by Frank Alcorn; additional dialogue by David J. Mauriello. [United States]: Alcorn/Johnson, [1996].

Kenneally, James. "Prelude to the Last Hurrah: The Massachusetts Senatorial Election of 1936." Mid-America 62 (January 1980): 3-20.

Lapomarda, Vincent A. "Maurice Joseph Tobin: The Decline of Bossism in Boston." New England Quarterly 43 (September 1970): 355-81.

Leinwand, Gerald. Mackerels in the Moonlight: Four Corrupt American Mayors. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2004.

Russell, Francis. "Last of the Bosses." American Heritage 10 (June 1959): 21-25+.

Steinberg, Alfred. "James Michael Curley: The Joyous Plague of Boston." In The Bosses, pp. 134-97. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1972.

Sullivan, Edmund B. Campaigning With James Michael Curley. With Barry Mushlin and Robert E. Colt. Hanover, Mass.: Christopher Pub. House, 2000.

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