Search This Blog

Sunday, November 12, 2017

James Michael Curley Died on November 12, 1958

James Michael Curley, the larger-than-life political figure who dominated Boston and Massachusetts politics for half a century, died on November 12, 1958, fifty-nine years ago today.  

Over 100,000 people passed by his coffin at the Hall of Flags in the Massachusetts State House, according to a story in The Boston Globe

“The rich and the humble, Democrats and Republicans, bared the depth of their tribune in whispered prayers and unrestrained tears,” wrote the Globe.

Then a final process drove Curley's body through the streets of Boston and then to Holy Cross Cathedral in the South End, where his son, Reverend Francis S. Curley, S.J., celebrated mass along with Richard Cardinal Cushing of South Boston.  

Curley is buried the Old Calvary Cemetery in Boston

Born on November 20, 1874 on Northampton Street in Roxbury, Curley's political career was unparalleled.  Curley served four four-year terms as mayor of Boston, in 1914, 1922, 1930 and 1946.  He was Governor of Massachusetts from 1935-37, and also served as  US Congressman from 1911-14.

Ray Flynn, former mayor of Boston and US Ambassador to the Vatican, praised Curley for "helping the poor and needy of Boston."

Mayor Marty Walsh now uses the original desk of Mayor Curley in his office on the 5th floor of Boston City Hall.  "It's about history," Walsh told the Globe.

Find out more about Boston's Irish history at