James Hugh Joseph Tate

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James Hugh Joseph Tate
James H. J. Tate, Mayor of Philadelphia (12932059073).jpg
92nd Mayor of Philadelphia
In office
February 12, 1962 – January 3, 1972
Acting: February 12, 1962 – January 6, 1964
Preceded byRichardson Dilworth
Succeeded byFrank Rizzo
28th President of the United States Conference of Mayors
In office
Preceded byJack D. Maltester
Succeeded byHenry Maier
President of the Philadelphia City Council
In office
January 20, 1955[1] – January 6, 1964
Preceded byHimself[b]
Succeeded byPaul D'Ortona
President pro tempore of the
Philadelphia City Council
In office
January 4, 1954 – January 20, 1955
Preceded byJames Finnegan[c]
Succeeded byHimself
Member of the Philadelphia City Council from the 7th District
In office
January 7, 1952 – January 6, 1964
Preceded byJohn F. Byrne
Succeeded byJoseph J. Hersch
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the Philadelphia County district
In office
January 7, 1941 – November 30, 1946
Personal details
Born(1910-04-10)April 10, 1910
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedMay 27, 1983(1983-05-27) (aged 73)
Somers Point, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materTemple University (LLB)
a.^ Acting Mayor from February 12, 1962 through January 6, 1964
b.^ As President of the City Council
c.^ As Council President

James Hugh Joseph Tate (April 10, 1910 – May 27, 1983) was an American politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 92nd Mayor of Philadelphia from 1962 to 1972. He was also a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the Philadelphia City Council. He was the first Roman Catholic to serve as mayor of Philadelphia.


Early life and career[edit]

He was born on April 10, 1910, in Philadelphia. He received his Bachelor of Laws from Temple University in 1938 and clerked for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.[2][3]

He was active in Democratic Party politics and, in 1941, won a seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to an at-large seat for Philadelphia County. He won re-election to the House in 1943 and 1945. In 1951, he won a seat on the Philadelphia City Council and became the President pro tempore in 1954, which became the council president in 1955. He held that position for nearly 10 years.[2]

Mayor of Philadelphia[edit]

Mayor Richardson Dilworth resigned his post in 1962 in order to make a second run for Governor in that fall’s general election. As the city council president, Tate became acting mayor upon Dilworth’s resignation. He went on to win two terms in his own right, in 1963 and 1967.[3] As a result, he is to date the longest serving mayor.

In 1963, he defeated Republican James McDermott with 54% of the vote.[4] He fended off a protest by the Congress of Racial Equality by stopping construction of the Philadelphia Municipal Services Building until more black workers were hired.[3]

In 1967, he appointed Frank Rizzo as the police commissioner.[5] He defeated District Attorney Arlen Specter in 1967 by less than 12,000 votes.[4]

In 1970 and 1971, Tate served as the president of the United States Conference of Mayors.[6]

Later life and death[edit]

Towards the end of his life, Tate lived in Longport, New Jersey.

Tate died of an apparent myocardial infarction in Somers Point, aged 73.[7]


  1. ^ "Administration of James H. J. Tate". Mayor's Correspondence and Files. The City of Philadelphia: Department of Records. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "JAMES H. J. TATE". Pennsylvania General Assembly. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  3. ^ a b c "James Tate of Philadelphia; Held Mayor's Post in 1962-72". New York Times. May 29, 1983.
  4. ^ a b "Mayors of Philadelphia". City of Philadelphia. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  5. ^ "Rizzo Resigns to Run for Mayor of Philadelphia". New York Times. 1971-02-03.
  6. ^ "Leadership". The United States Conference of Mayors. November 23, 2016. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  7. ^ Kennedy, Shawn G. (May 29, 1983). "James Tate of Philadelphia; Held Mayor's Post in 1962-72". The New York Times. p. 1.32.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Mayor of Philadelphia1
Succeeded by
Philadelphia City Council
Preceded by
President of the Philadelphia City Council
Succeeded by
Preceded by President pro tempore of the Philadelphia City Council
Succeeded by
Preceded by
John F. Byrne
Member of the Philadelphia City Council for the 7th District
Succeeded by
Joseph J. Hersch
Notes and references
1. Acting Mayor from 1962 through early 1964
2. As President pro tempore of the City Council
3. As Council President