This Labor Day, the Boston Irish Tourism Association pays tribute to Boston native Maurice Tobin (1901-53). Born in Roxbury's Mission Hill, he was the son of immigrants from Clogheen, Tipperary. He had an illustrious political career, which culminated in his serving as US Secretary of Labor under President Harry S. Truman.
Tobin became Massachusetts' youngest state representative at age 25, and in 1937 made a surprise run for mayor against his mentor, James Michael Curley. Tobin defeated Curley in 1937 and again in 1941, serving through 1944. He then won the race for Governor of Massachusetts, and served as Governor from 1944-46. Governor Tobin advocated for the Fair Employment Practices Bill, and helped increase unemployment insurance and benefits for workers.
He helped campaign for President Truman, who appointed Tobin as US Secretary of Labor from 1948 to
1953, where he continued to advocate on behalf of America's working people.
Sculptor Emilius R. Ciampa created the Tobin Memorial Sculptor in 1958, which is at the Boston Esplanade, next to the Hatchshell. In 1967 Massachusetts named the Mystic River Bridge the Maurice J. Tobin Memorial bridge in his honor.
Visit the Maurice Tobin statue on the Boston Irish Heritage Trail.
For more about Boston's colorful Irish history, read Irish Boston, available from Globe Pequot Press and from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other outlets.