List of mayors of Pittsburgh

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The mayor of Pittsburgh is the chief executive of the government of the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, as stipulated by the Charter of the City of Pittsburgh.[2]

Mayor of Pittsburgh
City of Pittsburgh coat of arms
Flag of the mayor of Pittsburgh
Ed Gainey
since January 3, 2022
Style"The Honorable"
Term length4 years
Inaugural holderEbenezer Denny
Salary$113,942 (2020)[1]
WebsiteOffice of the Mayor

Prior to the 1816 city charter, the Borough of Pittsburgh had its council elect a chief burgess among themselves. After the borough was rechartered as a city, its first seven mayors were selected in a similar fashion as the chief burgesses had been under borough council. It was not until Mayor Samuel Pettigrew in the 1830s that general elections of popular vote were conducted among all the city's voters to determine who would hold the mayor's office. Pettigrew was both the last mayor selected by council and the first generally elected mayor of Pittsburgh. From 1901 to 1903 the state legislature took control of the city on the grounds of corruption by former Mayor William J. Diehl with the passage of the so-called "ripper bill" and appointed the unelected "recorders" Joseph Brown and Adam Brown, who were answerable only to the state government. Since 1903, all mayors have been popularly elected. The current mayor, since January 2022, is Democrat Ed Gainey.

Chief burgesses (1794–1813) Edit

No. Chief Burgess Term Party Notes
1 George Robinson 1794–c. 1800 Arrested on orders from President George Washington for rebel activity during the Whiskey Rebellion.
2 John Park 1800–1801
3 Dr. George Stevenson 1801–1802
4 Isaac Craig 1802–1803 Federalist[3]
5 James O'Hara 1803–1804 Federalist Formerly 6th Quartermaster General of the United States Army and Revolutionary War veteran.
6 General Pressley Neville 1804–1805 Revolutionary War veteran.
7 General John Wilkins c. 1805–c. 1812 Formerly 7th and last Quartermaster General of the U.S. Army
8 William Steele 1812–1813

Mayors (1816–present) Edit

No. Mayor Term Party Notes Opposition
1 Ebenezer Denny # 1816–1817 Federalist First "appointed" mayor after city charter, resigned from office with health concerns, Revolutionary War veteran.
2 John Darragh 1817–1825 Federalist Appointed by City Council, formerly president of the bank of Pittsburgh.
3 John M. Snowden 1825–1828 Democratic-Republican, Jacksonian Appointed by City Council, formerly president of the bank of Pittsburgh and county treasurer, edited the Pittsburgh Mercury.
4 Magnus Miller Murray 1828–1830 Jacksonian, Democrat Appointed by City Council
5 Matthew B. Lowrie 1830–1831 Anti-Masonic Appointed by City Council, brother was a U.S. Senator and son became Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
6 Magnus Miller Murray 1831–1832 Democrat Appointed by City Council
7 Samuel Pettigrew 1832–1836 Democrat Appointed by City Council, later won the first mayoral election
Jackson and Clay[4] (1834–35)
Democratic and Workingmen's (1835–36)
8 Dr. Jonas R. McClintock 1836–1839 Democrat (1836–37) Elected mayor at the age of 28, became the first man to assume the office from a general election. Later led a Union company in the American Civil War.
City (1837–38)
City Improvement (1838–39)
9 William Little 1839–1840 Independent[a]
10 William W. Irwin 1840–1841 Whig (and Anti-Masonic)[b] Elected to congress and appointed United States Ambassador to Denmark after leaving office.
11 James Thomson 1841–1842 Whig
12 Alexander Hay 1842–1845 Whig (1842–43) After office he was commander in the Mexican War, and captain in the Civil War.
Volunteer (1843–44)
Independent/Volunteer (1844–45)
13 William J. Howard 1845–1846 Whig Longtime president of the "Guardians of the Poor", forerunner of the Salvation Army
14 William Kerr 1846–1847 Democrat
15 Gabriel Adams 1847–1849 Whig After office was appointed state judge
16 John Herron 1849–1850 Whig Before office was a captain in the Mexican War, hero of the Siege of Veracruz.
17 Joseph Barker 1850–1851 People's and Anti-Catholic Elected while in jail for inciting anti-Catholic and anti-Masonic riots. The itinerate preacher was released to serve his one-year mayoral term. Barker repeatedly sought re-election, but failed. Then, he was decapitated when he got too close to a train.
18 John B. Guthrie 1851–1853 Democrat Father of future mayor George W. Guthrie, served in Mexican War, was the longtime Customs Collector for Pittsburgh
19 Robert M. Riddle 1853–1854 Whig Formerly Postmaster of Pittsburgh, edited the Commercial Journal
20 Ferdinand E. Volz 1854–1856 Whig (1854–55) Oversaw cholera epidemic response
Whig-Democratic fusion (anti-Know Nothing) (1855–56)
21 William Bingham 1856–1857 American
22 Henry A. Weaver 1857–1860 Republican After office served as U.S. Collector of Revenue for Pittsburgh
23 George Wilson 1860–1862 Republican Formerly Pittsburgh Public Schools Director
24 Benair C. Sawyer 1862–1864 Republican After office moved to Colorado then to California making a fortune in mining
25 James Lowry, Jr. 1864–1866 Union City
26 William C. McCarthy 1866–1868 Republican Formerly a legend as a City fire fighter and commander, during administration ended the police practice of assuring "All is Well" on the hour, later served as city controller.
27 James Blackmore 1868–1869 Workingmen's Formerly Chief Clerk of City
28 Jared M. Brush 1869–1872 Republican Formerly city councilor, served as a minister during the Civil War.
29 James Blackmore 1872–1875 Democrat Formerly Chief Clerk of City
30 William C. McCarthy 1875–1878 Republican Formerly a legend as a Pittsburgh Fire Fighter and commander, during administration ended the police practice of assuring "All is Well" on the hour, later served as city controller.
31 Robert Liddell 1878–1881 Democrat Before and after office was a brewer and liquor dealer. Miles S. Humphreys
32 Robert W. Lyon 1881–1884 Democrat Earned two Purple Hearts in the Civil War, oil businessman before being elected, worked in a steel mill after leaving office. Miles S. Humphreys
33 Andrew Fulton 1884–1887 Republican Former city councilman; temporarily retired to breed horses in Colorado; later served as county director of the Division of Weights and Measures Robert Liddell
34 William McCallin 1887–1890 Republican Former County Coroner and County Sheriff Bernard J. McKenna
35 Henry I. Gourley 1890–1893 Republican Former city councilman; became city clerk after office John H. Bailey
36 Bernard J. McKenna 1893–1896 Democrat Former city councilman and firefighter John S. Lambie &
F.C. Beinhauer
37 Henry P. Ford 1896–1899 Republican Industrialist, with interests in knife manufacturing. George W. Guthrie
38 William J. Diehl # 1899–1901 Republican Former Deputy Sheriff; impeached on corruption charges John C. O'Donnell
39 Adam M. Brown 1901 Republican Former Court of Common Pleas judge; California Gold Rush speculator; earned the nickname of "Major" due to his military service non-elected
40 Joseph O. Brown 1901–1903 Republican Former Allegheny County Prothonotary and city Director of Public Safety; died in office of a heart attack non-elected
41 William B. Hays 1903–1906 Citizens / Democrat Industrialist, with interests in coal and lumber John C. Haymaker
42 George W. Guthrie 1906–1909 Democrat Attorney; son of former mayor John B. Guthrie; served as United States Ambassador to Japan after office. Alexander M. Jenkinson
43 William A. Magee 1909–1914 Republican Former Allegheny County Assistant District Attorney and city councilman
44 Joseph G. Armstrong 1914–1918 Republican[c] Former city councilman and Allegheny County Coroner; nicknamed "Joe the Builder" for his extensive public works projects Stephen G. Porter[c]
45 Edward V. Babcock 1918–1922 Republican[c] Former city councilman; later served as Allegheny County Commissioner; personally purchased 4,000 acres (16 km2) for county parklands. Purchased thousands of acres of south Florida timberland, estate sold to the state for conservation in the 1990s. William A. Magee[c]
46 William A. Magee 1922–1926 Republican Former City Council President William N. McNair
47 Charles H. Kline # 1926–1933 Republican Former State Representative and State Senator; convicted in 1932 by jury on 49 counts of corruption, but charges later overturned on appeal; resigned due to party pressure over corruption charges James F Malone, Tom Dunn
48 John S. Herron 1933–1934 Republican Former City Council President non-elected
49 William N. McNair # 1934–1936 Democrat Idealistic attorney; commended for his honesty, but criticized for his inability to get along with city council or the bureaucracy; arrested in 1935 for failing to authorize the return of a fine to an illegal gambler whose conviction had been overturned; resigned due to political infighting John Herron
50 Cornelius D. Scully 1936–1946 Democrat Former City Council President Bob Waddell
Harmar Denny
51 David L. Lawrence # 1946–1959 Democrat Named one of the all-time 50 greatest American mayors; elected governor in 1958; former Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman, Secretary of the Commonwealth, and U.S. Collector of Revenue; considered a "king maker" by Democratic Party Conventions due to his crafting of compromise candidates of U.S. Presidents Truman and the Kennedy/Johnson tickets. Bob Waddell
Tice Ryan
Leo Kane
John Drew
52 Thomas Gallagher 1959 Democrat Former State Representative and City Council President; became mayor at age 75 non-elected
53 Joseph M. Barr 1959–1970 Democrat Former State Senator Will Crehan
Vince Rovitto
54 Peter F. Flaherty # 1970–1977 Democrat Former city councilman; resigned after he was appointed Deputy U.S. Attorney General by President Carter; Democratic nominee for governor in 1978, and for U.S. Senate in 1974 and 1980, losing all three races by close margins John Tabor
"Fusion" Democrat[d] Unopposed
55 Richard Caliguiri 1977–1988 Independent Democrat Former City Council President; won 1978 election as an independent, after initially deciding not to run due to a lack of support from party leaders; died in office from amyloidosis Tom Foerster &
Vince Cosetti
Democrat Fred Goehringer
Henry Sneath
56 Sophie Masloff 1988–1994 Democrat Former City Council President; began her career in Pittsburgh politics as a Court secretary in 1938 at age 18 Uncontested
57 Thomas J. Murphy, Jr. 1994–2006 Democrat Former State Representative; lectures internationally on cities as a senior fellow at Washington, DC-based Urban Land Institute Duane Darkins &
Kathy Matta
Harry Frost
James Carmine
58 Bob O'Connor 2006 Democrat Former City Council President; died in office from a brain tumor. Joe Weinroth &
Titus North
59 Luke Ravenstahl 2006–2014 Democrat Former City Council President; became mayor at age 26, making him the youngest mayor of a top 100 city. Mark DeSantis
Dok Harris &
Kevin Acklin
60 Bill Peduto 2014–2022 Democrat Former city councilman Joshua Wander
61 Ed Gainey 2022–present Democrat Former state representative Tony Moreno

Died in office; # Resigned from office ; ♥ Still living

Longest tenures Edit

  • 13 years (1946–1959) – David L. Lawrence
  • 12 years (1994–2006) – Thomas J. Murphy, Jr.
  • 11 years and 1 month (1977–1988) – Richard Caliguiri
  • 10 years and 1 month (1959–1970) – Joseph M. Barr
  • 9 years and 3 months (1936–1946) – Cornelius D. Scully
  • 8 years and 9 months (1909–1914, 1922–1926) – William A. Magee
  • 8 years (2014–2022) – Bill Peduto
  • 7 years and 11 months (1817–1825) – John Darragh
  • 7 years and 4 months (2006–2014) – Luke Ravenstahl
  • 7 years and >3 months (1970–1977) – Peter F. Flaherty
  • 7 years and <3 months (1926–1933) – Charles H. Kline

The listed durations are rounded to the nearest month.

See also Edit

Notes Edit

  1. ^ Nominated by the firemen of Pittsburgh.
  2. ^ Mayors labeled as "Whig" on this list were also called "Whig and Anti-Masonic," to a lessening degree over the years.
  3. ^ a b c d Did not officially run as a Republican, as a non-partisan ballot law was in force.
  4. ^ Nominated by both major parties.

References Edit

  1. ^ "City of Pittsburgh 2013 Operating Budget" (PDF). City of Pittsburgh. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  2. ^ "Code of Ordinances of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania". City of Pittsburgh. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  3. ^ Pencak, William (2010). Pennsylvania's Revolution. State College, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. p. 245. ISBN 978-0-271-03579-6. ... in 1802, as a member of the Federalist Party, was elected ... chief burgess of the borough of Pittsburgh. This was an important position, roughly equivalent to a present-day mayoralty.
  4. ^ Curry, Leonard P. (1997). The Corporate City: The American City as a Political Entity, 1800–1850. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 98.

Sources Edit

External links Edit