Morton McMichael

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Morton McMichael
Morton McMichael (1807-1879).jpg
Mayor of Philadelphia
In office
Preceded by Alexander Henry
Succeeded by Daniel Fox
Personal details
Born (1807-10-02)October 2, 1807
New Jersey
Died January 6, 1879(1879-01-06) (aged 71)
Political party Republican
Profession Newspaper publisher

Morton McMichael (October 2, 1807 – January 6, 1879) was mayor of Philadelphia from 1866-1869 and a prominent newspaper publisher.[1]

Born in New Jersey to John and Hannah McMichael, he moved to Philadelphia while still young. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, and then read law and was admitted to the Philadelphia bar in 1827.

Michael became involved in the newspaper field starting in 1826, when he became an editor of The Saturday Evening Post. From 1831 to 1836 he was editor-in-chief of the Saturday Courier. In 1836 he founded the Saturday News, and published the Saturday Gazette with Joseph C. Neal from 1844 to 1847. At the outset of 1847, he became a publisher of The North American, which could claim as a successor to the Pennsylvania Packet to be the oldest daily newspaper in the United States. The paper became a prominent publication under McMichael, who became sole publisher in 1854 (when co-owner Robert Montgomery Bird died) until his death in 1879, though his sons took over active operations in his final years.[2][3][4][5]

In public service, McMichael served as sheriff of Philadelphia County from 1843–46, Mayor from 1866–69 and as president of the Fairmount Park Commission from 1867 until his death.

A statue of McMichael, unveiled in 1882, sits in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park at Sedgely Drive and Lemon Hill Drive.[6]

His son Morton McMichael Jr. served in the Union Army as a Lt. Colonel under General John Reynolds. He served as a senior staff member in the Army of The Potomac under Reynolds at the Battle of Gettysburg, where Gen. Reynolds was killed in action during siege. McMichael Jr. became a prominent banker after the war and helped organize The Penn Club on March 18, 1875.


Preceded by
Alexander Henry
Mayor of Philadelphia
Succeeded by
Daniel Fox