Edward J. Blythin

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Edward Blythin (October 10, 1884 – February 14, 1958) was an American politician and jurist of the Republican party who served as the 46th mayor of Cleveland, Ohio.

Welsh-born Blythin began his professional career in the coal industry of his native country, working as a bookkeeper. In 1906, he emigrated, ending up in Cleveland, Ohio, where he landed another bookkeeping job, for a real estate agency, a job he held for 10 years. During this time, he attended Cleveland Law School at night, earning his law degree in 1916.

Blythin then turned to the practice of law. In 1935, Blythin accepted appointment as an assistant to the Cleveland city law director. He became law director in 1940. In January 1941, when Harold H. Burton resigned as Cleveland mayor in order to take a seat in the United States Senate, Blythin, as law director, automatically succeeded Burton to the mayor's office. In November, however, Blythin failed to win election to the seat, losing to Democrat Frank Lausche.

In 1943, Blythin left private law practice to accept an executive position at Western Reserve University.

In 1949, Blythin was elected to a judgeship in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, where he served until his death. During his tenure on the court, Blythin presided over the notorious murder trial of Sam Sheppard. His stewardship of the trial was later overturned by the United States Supreme Court which termed the trial "a Roman Holiday." In fact, famous columnist Dorothy Kilgallen reputedly wrote that in a private conference just prior to the trial beginning, Blythin told her, in his opinion, Sheppard was guilty. Some of his critics wagged that Blythin's Welsh accent became more pronounced as he got older.

Blythin married Jane Rankin 5 Apr. 1913, and they had 5 children, Robert, Arthur, Glen (dec.), Jane (Mrs. Robt. Drake), and William.

References[edit]

  • The Encyclopedia Of Cleveland History by Cleveland Bicentennial Commission (Cleveland, Ohio), David D. Van Tassel (Editor), and John J. Grabowski (Editor) ISBN 0-253-33056-4
Political offices
Preceded by
Harold H. Burton
Mayor of Cleveland
1941
Succeeded by
Frank J. Lausche