Frank Couzens

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Frank Couzens
56th Mayor of Detroit, Michigan
In office
May 10, 1933 – September 8, 1933
Preceded by Frank Murphy
Succeeded by John W. Smith
58th Mayor of Detroit, Michigan
In office
January 2, 1934 – January 3, 1938
Preceded by John W. Smith
Succeeded by Richard Reading
Personal details
Born February 28, 1902
Detroit, Michigan
Died October 31, 1950
Detroit, Michigan

Frank Couzens (February 28, 1902 – October 31, 1950) was the son of United States Senator James J. Couzens, and mayor of Detroit, Michigan during the 1930s.

Early life[edit]

Frank Couzens was born in Detroit on February 28, 1902,[1][2] the son of businessman (and later mayor of Detroit and United States Senator) James J. Couzens.[3] He went to Newman Preparatory School in New Jersey, then returned to Detroit to attend high school.[3] After graduation, he worked as an apprentice in the building trades, then as an inspector for an architectural firm.[3] In 1922, he formed his own building contractor firm.[1]

Frank Couzens married Margaret Lang in 1922;[1] the couple had four sons: Frank Couzens Jr., James Couzens II, Homer J. Couzens, and George L. Couzens; and three daughters: Mrs. Edward C. Roney, Mary Elizabeth Couzens, and Barbara Ann Couzens.[4]


In 1928, then-mayor John C. Lodge appointed Couzens a member of the Detroit Street Railways Commission.[3] He was fired by the next mayor, Charles Bowles, in 1930 after opposing Bowles's effort to raise the streetcar fare.[3] However, the deeply unpopular Bowles was recalled from office, and Frank Murphy reinstated Couzens.[3]

In 1931, Couzens ran for a seat on the Detroit City Council, and garnered enough votes to become council president.[3] When Murphy resigned in 1933 to become governor of the Philippines, Couzens became acting mayor.[3] He resigned the mayor's office on September 8, 1933, to concentrate on receiving the Republican nomination for the office.[5] He was elected mayor twice, filling out four years in office.[3]

Later life[edit]

After stepping down from the mayor's office, Couzens retired from politics[2] and founded the Wabeek Bank of Detroit, whose chairman he remained for the next 12 years.[6] He died after a long battle with cancer on October 31, 1950.[2]

Political offices
Preceded by
Frank Murphy
Mayor of Detroit
May 10-September 8, 1933
Succeeded by
John W. Smith
Preceded by
John W. Smith
Mayor of Detroit
January 2, 1934 - January 3, 1938
Succeeded by
Richard Reading


  1. ^ a b c Who's Who in Detroit, 1935-36, Walter Romig & Co, 1935, p. 79 
  2. ^ a b c "Modest rites for Couzens". The Windsor Daily Star. Nov 1, 1950. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Following in the Footsteps of His Dad". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Nov 15, 1935. 
  4. ^ "Frank Couzens". Toledo Blade. Nov 1, 1950. 
  5. ^ "Couzens To Make Mayoralty Drive". Miami News. Aug 6, 1933. 
  6. ^ "Ex-Mayor of Detroit Dies". Schenectady Gazette. Nov 1, 1950.