John V. Kenny

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John V. Kenny
32nd Mayor of Jersey City
In office
July 1, 1949 – December 15, 1953 (resigned)[1]
Preceded by Frank H. Eggers
Succeeded by Bernard J. Berry
Personal details
Born John Vincent Kenny
(1893-04-06)April 6, 1893
Jersey City, New Jersey
Died June 2, 1975(1975-06-02) (aged 82)
Paramus, New Jersey
Political party Democratic
Residence Jersey City, New Jersey

John Vincent Kenny (April 6, 1893 – June 2, 1975) was mayor of Jersey City from 1949 to 1953.[3]


He was born on April 6, 1893. A former ward leader under longtime mayor Frank Hague, he broke with his mentor after Hague engineered the appointment of his nephew, Frank Hague Eggers, in 1947. Kenny put together a commission ticket that broke Hague's 32-year rule. Although he only served as mayor until 1953, he remained the real power in Jersey City and Hudson County for three decades.[4] Known as the "Little Guy,"[5] Kenny put together a machine that grew as corrupt as Hague's machine, though nowhere as efficient in providing city and county services.[2][6]

His rule was only broken in 1971, when he was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey and convicted, along with the then-mayor Thomas J. Whelan and former City Council president Thomas Flaherty, in federal court of conspiracy and extortion in a multimillion-dollar political kickback scheme on city and county contracts.[6]

Kenny suffered a heart attack and died on June 2, 1975, in Jersey City. He was buried in Holy Name Cemetery in Jersey City.[2][6]


  1. ^ "Kenny Keeps His Word, Resigns as Mayor; Hague Foe, in Ill Health for a Year, Held Office Since '49 -- Succeeded by Berry". The New York Times. December 16, 1953. p. 38. 
  2. ^ a b c "Kenny Funeral Held With Few Politicians Attending". New York Times. June 6, 1975. Retrieved 2008-04-23. John V. Kenny, the leader of Hudson County politics for more than 20 years, was buried here in Holy Name Cemetery today after a funeral mass sparsely attended by political figures. 
  3. ^ Maxine N. Lurie, ed. (2004). "John V. Kenny". Encyclopedia of New Jersey. Rutgers University Press. p. 438. ISBN 0-8135-3325-2. 
  4. ^ Grundy, J. Owen. Before 1949: Thirty Years War on Hagueism. Get NJ, 2003.
  5. ^ Farmer, John (August 2, 2009). "Corruption ain't what it used to be in Hudson County". The Jersey Journal. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  6. ^ a b c Hanley, Robert (June 3, 1975). "Ex-Mayor John V. Kenny Of Jersey City Dies at 82". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-23. John V. Kenny, the former Mayor of Jersey City whose control of the Hudson County Democratic party crumbled after a flurry of Federal extortion charges in late 1970, died last evening of heart disease. He was 82 years old.