Edward Joseph Kelly

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Edward Joseph Kelly
46th Mayor of Chicago
In office
April 8, 1933 – 1947
Preceded by Frank J. Corr
Succeeded by Martin H. Kennelly
Personal details
Born (1876-05-01)May 1, 1876
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died October 20, 1950(1950-10-20) (aged 74)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Residence Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Religion Roman Catholic

Edward Joseph Kelly (May 1, 1876 – October 20, 1950) served as chief engineer of the Chicago Sanitary District in the 1920s, and later as mayor of Chicago, Illinois (1933–1947); he was a Democrat.

Born to Stephen and Helen (née Lang) Kelly, he was the first of five Chicago mayors from Bridgeport of Chicago's South Side.[1] Kelly was the chief engineer of the Chicago Sanitary District in the 1920s. He was sponsored by Patrick Nash, the owner of a sewer-contracting company that did millions of dollars of business with the city.[2] He subsequently became president of the South Park Board, a position that presided over the building of Soldier Field. Under his tenure Soldier Field cost $8 million, while a similar Los Angeles stadium only cost $1.7 million.[2]

Kelly was Mayor of Chicago during the 1933-34 Chicago World's Fair (Century of Progress) which took place during the Great Depression which included the successful playing of the first official Major League Baseball All-Star Game; Kelly initiated for holding a major sport event for the fair to the Chicago Tribune. Kelly was famous for banning Nelson Algren's 1942 book Never Come Morning, a novel, from the Chicago Public Library; the ban remained in force for decades due to the outcry by Chicago Polonia upon its release.[3]

Following the assassination of Mayor Anton Cermak, Kelly was hand-picked by his friend, Patrick Nash, Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party, for the mayoral election of 1933.[4] Together, Kelly and Nash built one of the most powerful, and most corrupt, big city political organizations, called the "Kelly-Nash Machine". In 1947, Kelly acquiesced to the Cook County Democratic Party's decision to slate a candidate with reform credentials for mayor of Chicago and was succeeded by Martin H. Kennelly.


Kelly died in 1950 and was interred in Calvary Cemetery, Evanston, Illinois.

See also[edit]


Political offices
Preceded by
Frank J. Corr
Mayor of Chicago
Succeeded by
Martin H. Kennelly