Dick A. Greco

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For the baseball player, see Dick Greco (baseball).
Dick A. Greco
Mayor of Tampa, Florida
In office
1967–1974, 1995–2003
Preceded by Nick Chillura Nuccio, 1st term; Sandra Freedman, 2nd term
Succeeded by Richard L. Cheney, 1st term; Pam Iorio, 2nd term
Personal details
Born (1933-09-14) September 14, 1933 (age 83)
Ybor City, Tampa, Florida
Political party Democratic[1]
Spouse(s) Linda F. McClintock-Greco
Alma mater University of Tampa (B.A.)

Dick A. Greco (born September 14, 1933) is a politician, businessman, and civic activist from Tampa, Florida.

Early life[edit]

Dick Greco was born in the Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa, where his Italian-American father owned a hardware store. He graduated from Hillsborough High School and the University of Tampa [2] where he obtained his B.S. in Education (1956). After obtaining his degree, Greco took over his father's hardware store and became increasingly active in many civic programs and organizations.

Political career[edit]

In 1963, Greco used his growing community support to successfully run for a seat on the Tampa city council.

Mayor of Tampa, Part I[edit]

In 1967, Greco ran a successful campaign to be Tampa's youngest mayor (and one of the youngest mayors in the United States) by beating incumbent and fellow Ybor City native Nick Nuccio in an election that was seen as a transfer of power from one generation to the next[3][4]

In his first term, Greco balanced issues such as simmering racial tensions, crime, and extremely limited tax revenue. In 1971, Greco again beat Nuccio in a mayoral election rematch, but resigned in 1974 to accept a job with Edward J. DeBartolo Corp., a mall development company.[5]

Mayor of Tampa, Part II[edit]

After over two decades in the private sector, Greco successfully returned to Tampa politics in 1995 when he ran for and regained the mayor's office. Greco's wide popularity won him another term with no opposition in 1999.

During his fourth term as mayor, Greco's administration was involved in controversy when the city's housing director, Steve LaBrake, was accused of improperly awarding city contracts and taking bribes. Despite mounting criticism, Greco refused to fire LaBrake until after the director was indicted in federal court. LaBrake eventually served time in prison for his actions.[6][7] Greco was also criticized for regularly backing private redevelopment projects with city money, leaving the city with large debt repayments when the developer of Centro Ybor defaulted.[8] Due to term limits limiting Tampa mayors to two consecutive terms, he could not run again in 2003 and was succeeded by Pam Iorio.

Despite some controversy during his last years in office, Greco was still widely popular in Tampa and was the 2nd former mayor (after Nick Nuccio) to be honored with a public statue. The statue depicts Greco sitting on a bench beside Dick Greco Plaza, a streetcar station named in his honor for his efforts to build the TECO Line Streetcar System connecting Ybor City and downtown.[9][10]

5th run for mayor[edit]

In 2010, Greco announced that he would try to win an unprecedented 5th term as mayor of Tampa in 2011 when Iorio's second term expired,[11] potentially making him both the youngest and the oldest mayor in the city's history. But though seen by local political observers as the early favorite,[12] Greco ran third in the general election, ending 384 votes behind Rose Ferlita, who lost in a subsequent runoff election to Bob Buckhorn.[13][14]