Edward Joseph Kelly

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Edward Joseph Kelly
46th Mayor of Chicago
In office
April 8, 1933 – 1947
Preceded by Frank J. Corr
Succeeded by Martin H. Kennelly
Personal details
Born (1876-05-01)May 1, 1876
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died October 20, 1950(1950-10-20) (aged 74)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Residence Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Religion Roman Catholic

Edward Joseph Kelly (May 1, 1876 – October 20, 1950) served as chief engineer of the Chicago Sanitary District in the 1920s, and later as mayor of Chicago, Illinois (1933–1947) for the Democratic Party.

Born to Stephen and Helen (née Lang) Kelly, he was the first of five Chicago Mayors from Bridgeport.[1] Kelly was the chief engineer of the Sanitary district in the 20s under the sponsorship of Patrick Nash who owned a sewer contracting company that did millions of dollars of business with the city.[2] He subsequently became president of the South Park Board, a position that presided over the building of Soldier Field. Under his tenure Soldier Field cost $8 million, while a similar Los Angeles stadium only cost $1.7 million.[2]

Kelly was Mayor of Chicago during the 1933-34 Century of Progress. He was famous for banning Nelson Algren's book Never Come Morning from the Chicago Public Library which remained in force for decades over the massive outcry by Chicago Polonia upon its release.[3]

Following the assassination of Mayor Anton Cermak, Kelly was hand picked by his friend, Patrick Nash, Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party, for the mayoralty election of 1933.[4] Together, Kelly and Nash built one of the most powerful, and most corrupt, big city political organizations, called the "Kelly-Nash Machine". In 1947 Kelly acquiesced to the Cook County Democratic Party's decision to slate a candidate with reform credentials for the office of Mayor and was succeeded by Martin H. Kennelly.


He died in 1950 and was interred in Calvary Cemetery, Evanston, Illinois.


  1. ^ "Political History of Bridgeport". University of Illinois - Chicago. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  2. ^ a b "History of Chicago from Trading Post to Metropolis (Module 3 Chapter 2-Chicago During the Great Depression)". Roosevelt University. 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  3. ^ Reader Archive-Extract: 1998/981120/ALGREN
  4. ^ "Edward J. Kelly Elected as New Mayor of Chicago--Takes Oath of Office After Action by City Council". Chicago Tribune. 1933-04-14. p. 38. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Frank J. Corr
Mayor of Chicago
Succeeded by
Martin H. Kennelly