Mitchell May

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Mitchell May, Congressman and Judge from New York.

Mitchell May (July 10, 1870 Brooklyn, Kings County, New York – March 24, 1961 Brooklyn) was an American lawyer and politician.

Life[edit]

He attended the public schools and Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. He graduated from Columbia University Law School in 1892, was admitted to the bar in 1893, and commenced practice in Brooklyn.

May was elected as a Democrat to the 56th United States Congress, and served from March 4, 1899, to March 3, 1901. From 1906 to 1910, he was a member of the New York City Board of Education. He was an Assistant District Attorney of Kings County from 1910 to 1911.

He was Secretary of State of New York from 1913 to 1914, elected in 1912, but defeated for re-election in 1914. He was county judge of Kings County from 1916 to 1921, and was a justice of the New York State Supreme Court from 1922 to 1940, when he retired after reaching the constitutional age limit. Afterwards he resumed the practice of law.

According to a biographer of Governor Al Smith, May played a role in desegregating a New York country club. As told by Hugh Carey, Smith and May were about to tee off when club officials attempted to stop them because of May's religion -- the club did not admit Jewish members. Smith replied that either May would play the round with him, or Smith would have the golf course turned into a state park within a week. They played, and the club changed its membership policy.[1]

May was acquainted with several people involved in the entertainment industry, and presided over the ceremony for the second marriage of Frank Capra.[2]

He was buried at Staten Island's Valhalla Cemetery, also known as Ocean View.[3]

He was of Jewish faith.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Slayton, Robert A. (2001). Empire Statesman: The Rise and Redemption of Al Smith. Simon and Schuster. p. 176. 
  2. ^ McBride, Joseph (1992). Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success. University of Mississippi Press. p. 244. 
  3. ^ Mitchell May at Find a Grave
  4. ^ Stone, Kurt F. "The Jews of Capitol Hill: A Compendium of Jewish Congressional Members, (2011). Pages 71–73. ISBN 9780810857315.

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
James R. Howe
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 6th congressional district

1899–1901
Succeeded by
George H. Lindsay
Political offices
Preceded by
Edward Lazansky
Secretary of State of New York
1913–1914
Succeeded by
Francis Hugo