Austin J. Tobin

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Austin J. Tobin
Portrait of Austin J. Tobin
Director of the Port of New York Authority
In office
1942–1972
Preceded by John E. Ramsey
Succeeded by Matthias Lukens
Personal details
Born (1903-05-25)May 25, 1903
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
Died February 8, 1978(1978-02-08) (aged 74)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Education College of the Holy Cross
Fordham Law School

Austin Joseph Tobin (May 25, 1903 – February 8, 1978) was an American businessman who served as the executive director of the Port of New York Authority, the precursor to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, from 1942 until 1972.[1]

Tobin is widely known for authorizing the construction of the original World Trade Center, which was destroyed during the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Background[edit]

Tobin was born on May 25, 1903 to an Irish-American family in Brooklyn, New York City. He was educated at the College of the Holy Cross and Fordham Law School.

Tobin joined the Port Authority in 1927, where he served the first 15 years of his career in the law department. He started out as a law clerk, and was promoted to assistant general counsel in 1935.[2] In 1942, he was appointed as executive director of the Port Authority.[2] During his thirty years as executive director, the agency gained control of LaGuardia Airport, Idlewild (later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport), and Newark Airport. He oversaw the development of the original World Trade Center, the creation of the Lincoln Tunnel, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal.[3]

In 1966, Tobin received The Hundred Year Association of New York's Gold Medal Award "in recognition of outstanding contributions to the City of New York."

He died on February 8, 1978 in Manhattan, New York City at the age of 74.[1]

Legacy[edit]

Austin J. Tobin Plaza in 1995

In 1978, the Port Authority decided to rename the outdoor plaza at the World Trade Center, in his honor, as the Austin J. Tobin Plaza. The centerpiece of the plaza was The Sphere, a 25-foot tall bronze sculpture designed by Fritz Koenig.

The plaza was destroyed during the September 11 attacks in 2001, and is now occupied on the same site by the National September 11 Memorial.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Austin J. Tobin, Executive Director Of Port Authority for 30 Years, Dies. A Target of Criticism. Worked Long Hours. Took Top Position in 1942". The New York Times. February 9, 1978. Retrieved 2008-06-17. Austin J. Tobin, the autocratic Brooklyn-born lawyer who built the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey into the most powerful agency of its kind in the world, died of cancer yesterday at his Manhattan apartment. He was 74 years old. 
  2. ^ a b Glanz, James and Eric Lipton (2003). City in the Sky. Times Books. p. 42. 
  3. ^ Doig, Jameson (2001). Empire on the Hudson. Columbia University Press. 

Further reading[edit]