William A. Magee

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This article is about the mayor of Pittsburgh, for other people named William Magee see William Magee (disambiguation).

William Anderson Magee (1873–1938) was born in Pittsburgh's Hill District neighborhood the site of the present day Mellon Arena and the region's hub for African American culture. Before becoming mayor he gained his reputation by serving as Assistant District Attorney for Allegheny County of which Pittsburgh is the County Seat. He twice served as Mayor of Pittsburgh, from 1909 to 1914, and again from 1922 to 1926. He was a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1901 to 1904.[1]

Pittsburgh politics[edit]

Magee oversaw several developments in the city, the most notable of which were the opening of the first National League concrete baseball park Forbes Field in the city's Oakland neighborhood. To top that achievement the Pittsburgh Pirates won their first World Series in their first season in the park.

On policy the Magee administration instituted a motorized police force for the first time in the city. He also oversaw the local institution of the national prohibition laws during his second term in office. He was the first man to serve the new expanded four-year term for the Mayor's office.

Honors[edit]

Mayor Magee lives on through both Magee-Women's Hospital and Magee Street in the city, both were named for the family and the Mayor's notable uncle, Christopher Lyman Magee.

Popular Culture[edit]

Magee was featured in the 1924 film Fording the Lincoln Highway.[2]

Magee also wrote an informative article about what he considered to be the inefficiencies of city government. While many of the concepts he addresses seem logical, at the time of publication many local governments were run through executive checks and balances to the point of ineffectiveness. Magee wrote that city governments should be more centralized and focused to be effective.[3]

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
George W. Guthrie
Mayor of Pittsburgh
1909–1914
Succeeded by
Joseph G. Armstrong
Preceded by
Edward V. Babcock
Mayor of Pittsburgh
1922–1926
Succeeded by
Charles H. Kline