John Hynes (politician)

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John B. Hynes
49th Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts
In office
1950–1960
Preceded by James M. Curley
Succeeded by John F. Collins
Personal details
Born September 22, 1897
Died January 6, 1970(1970-01-06) (aged 72)
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Suffolk University Law School

John B. Hynes (September 22, 1897 – January 6, 1970), a Massachusetts politician, was mayor of Boston 1950-1960.

Biography[edit]

Family background[edit]

Hynes was the son of Bernard Hynes, Abbey Street, Loughrea, County Galway, Ireland, who emigrated to Boston about 1890. Bernard Hynes was a member of the Hynes family of Kylegarriff, Killeenadeema, Loughrea.

A notable relative was Domingo O’Heyne (born 1683 in Cahererillan Castle, Kinvara, County Galway), a son of Edmond O’Heyne and grandson of Eugene O’Heyne of Lydacan Castle. In 1709 Dominigo, then Captain of the Irish Dragoons in the Spanish Army, was admitted to the Order of Saint James by the King of Spain.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

John Hynes graduated from Suffolk University Law School in 1927. He was city clerk of Boston under James Michael Curley during Curley's 1946 - 1950 term. When Curley was serving five months in prison in 1947 for official misconduct, Hynes served as acting mayor. Angry about Curley's off-hand but disparaging comments about Hynes' performance as acting mayor, Hynes decided to challenge Curley in the 1949 election and defeated him. Because of a change to the mayoral election system, the next election was held in 1951 and Hynes again defeated Curley. Hynes defeated Curley a third time in 1955 and went on to serve as mayor until 1960.

During his tenure as mayor, he oversaw the opening of the Central Artery elevated highway through the city's waterfront district, as well as the opening of the Freedom Trail, which traces many of Boston's Revolutionary War era landmarks. He was responsible for founding the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), which laid the foundation for developments in Boston in the 1950s and beyond including the controversial razing of the West End. Hynes and his successors, John Collins and Kevin White, are most responsible for the modernization of the city of Boston. The Hynes Convention Center, located in the Back Bay section of Boston, is named for him. His son, Jack Hynes, is a longtime Boston news anchor. Another son, Richard Hynes, teaches at Boston University. A third son, Barry T. Hynes. served on the Boston City Council and was Boston's city clerk.

References[edit]

  • Beatty, Jack, The Rascal King: The Life and Times of James Michael Curley, 1874-1958., 1992.
  • Krieger, Alex, David Cobb & Amy Turner, editors, Mapping Boston. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1999.
Political offices
Preceded by
James Michael Curley
Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts
1950 - 1960
Succeeded by
John F. Collins