Frank D. O'Connor

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Frank D. O'Connor (December 20, 1909 – December 2, 1992) was an American lawyer and politician from New York.

Life[edit]

O'Connor was born on December 20, 1909, in Manhattan, New York City, the son of Irish immigrants. He grew up in Elmhurst and graduated from Newtown High School and Niagara University in 1932, and from Brooklyn Law School in 1934. He served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II. He later practiced law in Queens and became active in politics as a Democrat.

He was a member of the New York State Senate (6th D.) from 1949 to 1952, sitting in the 167th and 168th New York State Legislatures. In November 1952, he ran for re-election, but was defeated by Republican Bernard Tompkins.

O'Connor gained fame as a lawyer in 1953, when he defended Christopher Emanuel Balestrero, a bass player at the Stork Club falsely accused of armed robbery. The story was the basis of the 1956 Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Wrong Man, in which O'Connor was portrayed by Anthony Quayle.

O'Connor was again a member of the State Senate (8th D.) in 1955. In November 1955, he was elected as District Attorney of Queens County, and remained in office from 1956 to 1965. He was a delegate to the 1960 and 1964 Democratic National Conventions.

He was President of the New York City Council from 1966 to 1968. He ran at the New York state election, 1966 for Governor of New York, but was defeated by Republican Nelson Rockefeller.

O'Connor was a Justice of the New York Supreme Court from 1969 to 1979, and an Official Referee (i.e. a senior judge on an additional seat) of the Supreme Court from 1980 to 1985. From 1976 to 1985, he sat on the Appellate Division.

He died on December 2, 1992, in Booth Memorial Hospital in Flushing, Queens, from head injuries he had suffered 13 days earlier when he fell down a flight of stairs at his home.

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Charles T. Corey
New York State Senate
6th District

1949–1952
Succeeded by
Bernard Tompkins
Preceded by
Thomas J. Cuite
New York State Senate
8th District

1955
Succeeded by
Bernard Tompkins
Legal offices
Preceded by
T. Vincent Quinn
District Attorney of Queens County
1956–1965
Succeeded by
Thomas J. Mackell
Political offices
Preceded by
Paul R. Screvane
President of the New York City Council
1966–1968
Succeeded by
Francis X. Smith
Party political offices
Preceded by
Robert M. Morgenthau
1962
Democratic Nominee for Governor of New York
1966
Succeeded by
Arthur Goldberg
1970