Thomas D'Alesandro III

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Thomas D'Alesandro III
Thomas L. J. D'Alesandro III in 2011
43rd Mayor of Baltimore
In office
January 1, 1967 – January 1, 1971
Preceded byTheodore R. McKeldin
Succeeded byWilliam Donald Schaefer
Personal details
Thomas Ludwig John D'Alesandro III

(1929-07-24) July 24, 1929 (age 90)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Margie Piracci
ParentsThomas D'Alesandro Jr.
Nancy Lombardi
RelativesNancy Pelosi (sister)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1952–1955

Thomas Ludwig John D'Alesandro III (born July 24, 1929) is an American attorney and former politician who was Mayor of Baltimore from 1967 to 1971.[1] He is the brother of Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi,[2] and son of former Baltimore Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro Jr., who served from 1947 to 1959.[1]


Early life and education[edit]

D'Alesandro was born in Baltimore to Annunciata (née Lombardi) and Thomas J. D'Alesandro Jr. He was the oldest of six children, of whom his youngest sister Nancy would become the first female Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. He attended Loyola College in Baltimore and studied law at the University of Maryland School of Law.[1] In 1952, he married Margaret "Margie" Piracci at the Baltimore Basilica; more than 5,000 people attended the wedding.[3] He served in the US Army from 1952 to 1955.


After military service, D'Alesandro entered into politics, becoming president of the Baltimore City Council in 1963.[1] He ran for mayor in 1967 as a Democrat and easily defeated Republican challenger Arthur W. Sherwood, winning all 555 of the city's precincts.[4][5]

His one term as mayor was dominated by civil unrest and budgetary troubles.[1] In 1968 D'Alesandro ordered the relocation of the East-West Expressway, unstarted since 1941, to be rerouted through the Western Cemetery, then cancelled the project, then implemented a HUD program to finance 475 of the vacant homes abandoned after they were previously condemned to create "homes for the poor." The homes were demolished in 1974, with the Rouse Company creditors abandoning the project.[6][7]

He was unable to respond effectively to the Baltimore riot of 1968 that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew called National Guard troops in to control the situation.[8] D'Alesandro would never run for another political office, choosing to go into private law practice. Years later, D'Alesandro insisted that the riots were not the reason that he walked away from politics. He said that the reason was simply that he had five children and his mayoral salary was not sufficient for him to support his family.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Biographical Dictionary of American Mayors, 1820–1980. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. 1981. [1]
  2. ^ "About Rep. Pelosi". Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi official website. Archived from the original on June 1, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  3. ^ Tkacik, Christina. "65 years ago, Tommy and Margie got married in Baltimore's own royal wedding". Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  4. ^ a b For 30 years, people have wondered how Tommy D'Alesando III, a born winner, could walk away from politics. It wasn't the '68 riot, he insists. Accessed July 1, 2013
  5. ^ Olesker, Michael (October 25, 2018). "Recalling Old Times with Tommy the Younger". JMORE. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  6. ^ Elfenbein, Jessica; Hollowak, Thomas L.; Nix, Elizabeth. Baltimore '68 : Riots and Rebirth in an American City. p. 62.
  7. ^ "Governor O'Malley Breaks Ground on Removal of West Baltimore's 'Highway to Nowhere' MARC Station improvement plan reunites West Baltimore communities". Archived from the original on April 26, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  8. ^ "Former Baltimore Mayor Looks Back". Retrieved May 21, 2019.
Preceded by
Theodore R. McKeldin
Mayor of Baltimore
Succeeded by
William Donald Schaefer