Thomas D'Alesandro Jr.
Thomas D'Alesandro Jr.
|39th Mayor of Baltimore|
May 16, 1947 – May 16, 1959
|Preceded by||Theodore McKeldin|
|Succeeded by||J. Harold Grady|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Maryland's 3rd district
January 3, 1939 – May 16, 1947
|Preceded by||Vincent Palmisano|
|Succeeded by||Edward Garmatz|
Thomas Ludwig John D'Alesandro Jr.
August 1, 1903
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Died||August 23, 1987 (aged 84)|
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Children||6, including Thomas III and Nancy|
Thomas Ludwig John D'Alesandro Jr. (August 1, 1903 – August 23, 1987) was an American politician who was a U.S. Representative from Maryland's 3rd congressional district (1939–1947) and subsequently 39th Mayor of Baltimore (1947–1959). Thomas was the father of Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Patricia Pelosi, the first female Speaker of the House; and Thomas D'Alesandro III, also a Mayor of Baltimore.
D'Alesandro was born in Baltimore on August 1, 1903. He was the son of Maria Antonia Petronilla (née Foppiani) and Tommaso G. D'Alesandro. His father was born in Montenerodomo, Abruzzo, Italy, and his mother was born in Baltimore, to parents from Genoa, Liguria, Italy. D'Alesandro attended Calvert Business College in Baltimore. Before beginning his political career, he worked as an insurance and real estate broker.
A Democrat, D'Alesandro served as a member of the Maryland State House of Delegates from 1926 to 1933. After serving in Annapolis, D'Alesandro was then appointed as General Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue, a post in which he served during 1933–1934. He then was elected to serve on the Baltimore City Council from 1935 to 1938.
D'Alesandro was then elected to the 76th Congress and to the four succeeding Congresses, serving from January 3, 1939, until he resigned on May 16, 1947. While in Congress, D'Alesandro strongly supported the Bergson Group, a "political action committee set up to challenge the Roosevelt Administration's policies on the Jewish refugee issue during the Holocaust, and later lobbied against British control of Palestine" despite his equally strong support for Roosevelt's other policies.[better source needed]
Following his service in Congress he was Mayor of Baltimore for 12 years from May 1947 to May 1959. D'Alesandro served on the Federal Renegotiation Board from 1961-1969 after being appointed by President John F. Kennedy
D'Alesandro was a strong contender for Governor of Maryland in 1954, but dropped out after being implicated in receiving undeclared money from Dominic Piracci, a parking garage owner convicted of fraud, conspiracy, and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Piracci was the father of Margie Piracci D'Alesandro, the wife of D'Alesandro's oldest son and namesake Thomas D'Alesandro III. Mayor D'Alesandro was later exonerated and never indicted.
After withdrawing, D'Alesandro tacitly supported University of Maryland President Curley Byrd, who lost, 54.5% to 45.5%, to Theodore McKeldin, the Republican incumbent and D'Alesandro's predecessor as Mayor of Baltimore.
In 1958, D'Alesandro ran for the United States Senate in a bid to defeat Republican incumbent J. Glenn Beall. who in 1952 defeated. D'Alesandro first had to spend money and time defeating perennial candidate/contractor George P. Mahoney in the Democratic primary. D'Alesandro then ran a strong campaign, losing to Beall in close election, the first time D'Alesandro ever had lost.
In 2017, in an effort to counter D'Alesandro's daughter Nancy's efforts to remove statues of confederate figures from the halls of Congress, conservative commentators noted that in 1948, D'Alesandro dedicated the Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee Monument in his capacity as Mayor of Baltimore, along with the then-Governor of Maryland, William Preston Lane Jr. His son, Thomas D'Alesandro III, who later served as Mayor of Baltimore from 1967 to 1971, said about his father "His whole life was politics. He was not what you would call a flaming liberal, but he was a progressive."
D'Alesandro was married to Annunciata M. ("Nancy") Lombardi (1909-1995). Together, the couple had six children, five sons and a daughter:
- Thomas Ludwig John D'Alesandro III (1929–2019), who was Mayor of Baltimore from 1967 to 1971.
- Nicholas M. D'Alesandro (1930–1934)
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt D'Alesandro (1933–2007), who also served in the U.S. Army.
- Hector Joseph D'Alesandro (1935–1995)
- Joseph Thomas D'Alesandro (1937–2004)
- Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi (born 1940), who is a Representative from California, who served as the House of Representatives House Minority Leader between 2003 and 2007 and from 2011 to 2019, and as the Speaker of the House from January 4, 2007, until January 3, 2011, and again from January 3, 2019, to the present.
D'Alesandro died on August 23, 1987, in Baltimore, Maryland.
- 1947 Baltimore mayoral election
- 1951 Baltimore mayoral election
- 1955 Baltimore mayoral election
- Thomas D'Alesandro Stadium
- Stated on Finding Your Roots, January 12, 2021
- "D'ALESANDRO, Thomas, Jr. | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives". history.house.gov. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
- Medoff, Rafael, "Pelosi's father and the Holocaust." Jerusalem Post. April 11, 2007. April 16, 2007.
- Valentine, Paul W. (August 24, 1987). "BALTIMORE POLITICAL PATRIARCH THOMAS J. D'ALESANDRO JR. DIES". Retrieved December 18, 2017 – via www.WashingtonPost.com.
- "Federal Renegotiation Board | JFK Library". www.jfklibrary.org. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
- "The Little World of Tommy" ,Time. April 26, 1954.
- "J. Harold Grady, mayor, chief judge, dies at 84". BaltimoreSun.com. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
- Singman, Brooke (August 24, 2017). "Nancy Pelosi's dad helped dedicate Confederate statue". The New York Post. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
- Baltimore Sun, October 1, 1928, p. 20.
- Hirschfeld Davis, Julie. "Nancy Pelosi Elected Speaker as Democrats Take Control of House". The New York Times. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
- United States Congress. "Thomas D'Alesandro Jr. (id: D000007)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Thomas D'Alesandro Jr. at Find a Grave
- "T. D'Alesandro Jr., a Baltimore Mayor, Dies". The New York Times. August 24, 1987.
- Thomas D' Alesandro Jr. FBI Files
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 3rd congressional district
| Mayor of Baltimore
J. Harold Grady
|Party political offices|
George P. Mahoney
| Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Maryland
|76th||Senate: M. Tydings • G. Radcliffe||House: T. Goldsborough • W. Cole • A. Kennedy • W. Byron • T. D'Alesandro • L. Sasscer • D. Ward|
|77th||Senate: M. Tydings • G. Radcliffe||House: W. Cole • W. Byron • T. D'Alesandro • L. Sasscer • D. Ward • J. Meyer • K. Byron|
|78th||Senate: M. Tydings • G. Radcliffe||House: T. D'Alesandro • L. Sasscer • D. Ward • H. Baldwin • J. Beall • D. Ellison|
|79th||Senate: M. Tydings • G. Radcliffe||House: T. D'Alesandro • L. Sasscer • H. Baldwin • J. Beall • G. Fallon • D. Roe|
|80th||Senate: M. Tydings • H. O'Conor||House: T. D'Alesandro • L. Sasscer • J. Beall • G. Fallon • H. Meade • E. Miller • E. Garmatz|