Christopher A. Iannella

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Christopher A. Iannella
Councilor Brian McLaughlin, Christopher A. Iannella (9516904421).jpg
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
In office
President of the Boston City Council
In office
Preceded byPatrick F. McDonough
Succeeded byPeter F. Hines
In office
Preceded byJoseph M. Tierney
Succeeded byPatrick F. McDonough
In office
Preceded byPatrick F. McDonough
Succeeded byJoseph M. Tierney
In office
Preceded byBruce Bolling
Succeeded byDapper O'Neil
Member of the Boston City Council
In office
In office
Succeeded byBruce Bolling
Personal details
Born(1913-05-29)May 29, 1913
San Sossio Baronia, Italy
DiedSeptember 12, 1992(1992-09-12) (aged 79)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Resting placeWalnut Hill Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Virginia Nelson
Children4, including Christopher Jr. and Richard
Alma materBoston College (BA)
Harvard University (JD)

Christopher A. Iannella (May 29, 1913 – September 12, 1992) was a member of the Boston City Council in Boston, Massachusetts, for 33 years, spanning the late 1950s until his death. He also served eight one-year terms as City Council president.

Early years[edit]

Iannella was born in the small village of San Sossio Baronia in Avellino, Italy, and arrived in the U.S. with his mother and sister at the age of eight, unable to speak English.[1] He went on to graduate from The English High School, Boston College, and Harvard Law School. He was one of the "college boys" featured in William Foote Whyte's classic text, Street Corner Society.[2]


A Democrat, Iannella was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1950,[3] and to the Boston City Council in November 1957. He served on the council from 1958 through 1967, when he ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of Boston in that year's election. He was again elected to the City Council in November 1969, and served from 1970 through his death in 1992. He was the council president in 1962, 1980, 1982, and from 1988 to 1992.[4]

Iannella helped lead an unsuccessful effort to save Boston's West End before it was demolished in the 1950s. He was known for authoring a law that encouraged the city to hire Boston residents for government jobs, and more generally as an effective intermediary in the often contentious atmosphere of Boston politics.[5]

Personal life[edit]

He was survived by four children, three of whom worked in politics.[6] Christopher Iannella Jr. has been a member of the Massachusetts Governor's Council since 1993.[7] Richard P. Iannella was an at-large City Council member from 1994 through 1996 and Suffolk County Register of Probate from 1997 to 2011.[8][9] Suzanne Iannella was a member of the Boston Licensing Board and the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission as well as an unsuccessful candidate for city council in November 1997 and November 1999.[6][10][11] The room in Boston City Hall where the City Council meets is named the Christopher A. Iannella Chamber in his honor.[12]


Iannella died in September 1992, of complications from cancer.[13] He was buried in Walnut Hill Cemetery in Brookline, Massachusetts.[14][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "City Council president Iannella dead at 79". The Boston Globe. September 15, 1992. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  2. ^ Whyte, William Foote (1981). Street Corner Society: The Social Structure of an Italian Slum (Third ed.). University of Chicago Press. pp. 350–353. ISBN 0226895432.
  3. ^ '1955-1956 Public Officials of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,' Irving N. Hayden-clerk of the Massachusetts Senate/Lawrence R. Grove-clerk of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Biographical Sketch of Christopher A. Iannella, pg. 197
  4. ^ City Council taps Iannella for 5th term as president. Boston Herald, Jan 7, 1992
  5. ^ a b "Christopher Iannella". The Boston Globe. September 16, 1992 – via
  6. ^ a b Canellos, Peter S. (October 23, 1997). "Iannella siblings gingerly pass the political torch". The Boston Globe. p. A.1 – via
  7. ^ "Christopher A. Iannella, Jr. (D)". PD43+ Massachusetts Election Statistics. Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  8. ^ Chacon, Richard (February 4, 1997). "Iannella shakes his father's onerous legacy Leaving council for probate job, he has chance to make mark". The Boston Globe. p. B.4. Retrieved March 3, 2018 – via
  9. ^ "Richard Iannella, member of Boston political clan, resigns Suffolk probate court job". The Boston Globe. January 7, 2011. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  10. ^ "Mayor Walsh Overhauls Boston Licensing Board". WBUR News. December 3, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  11. ^ "Brewing Interest in Siblings". Boston Herald. August 23, 2005.
  12. ^ "City Council Meeting Agendas - City of Boston".
  13. ^ "Other Deaths". The Daily Spectrum. St. George, Utah. September 16, 1992. Retrieved February 22, 2018 – via
  14. ^ Rezendes, Michael (September 19, 1992). "Iannella funeral draws nearly 1,000; Boston councilor called friend of poor". The Boston Globe – via

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by President of the Boston City Council
Succeeded by