Thomas J. Whelan

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Thomas J. Whelan
36th Mayor of Jersey City
In office
November 13, 1963 – July 6, 1971
Preceded byThomas Gangemi
Succeeded byCharles K. Krieger
Personal details
Born(1922-01-28)January 28, 1922
Jersey City, New Jersey
DiedJuly 31, 2002(2002-07-31) (aged 80)
Naples, Florida
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Eileen Catherine Whelan
ChildrenMichael, Thomas, John, Paul, Mary, Eileen
ResidenceJersey City, New Jersey

Thomas J. Whelan (January 28, 1922 – July 31, 2002) was an American mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey. He served as the Mayor of Jersey City from 1963 to 1971.


Whelan was born in Jersey City on January 28, 1922 as one of thirteen children to Joseph J. and Charlotte Vogel Whelan.

Whelan flew 63 missions in World War II as a pilot in the Army Air Force. He later became the chief security officer of New Jersey Bell Telephone Co.[1]

A Democrat, Whelan was appointed mayor in 1963 when his predecessor, Thomas Gangemi, was forced to resign over a question about his citizenship.[2] Whelan then ran for mayor in 1965 and again in 1969, winning both times.[3][4]

In 1971, during his second term, Whelan was indicted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey as a member of the "Hudson County Eight," and was convicted in federal court of conspiracy and extortion in a multimillion-dollar political kickback scheme connected to city and county contracts.[5]

Convicted along with him was former mayor and political boss, John V. Kenny and former City Council president Thomas Flaherty.[5] Whelan served seven years of a 15-year sentence in the United States penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.[6]

Whelan died on July 31, 2002, at home in Naples, Florida, aged 80.[7]


  1. ^ "Slide-Rule Caesar", TIME, 1965-12-31
  2. ^ Haff, Joseph (1963-11-13), "MAYOR IS NAMED BY JERSEY CITY; Whelan Replaces Gangemi After 47-Day Delay Jersey City's Council Appoints New Mayor After 47-Day Delay 3-Way Tie", The New York Times, p. 1
  3. ^ Waggoner, Walter (1965-05-12), "JERSEY CITY KEEPS WHELAN IN OFFICE; Mayor Is Re-elected Easily With Kenny's Backing", The New York Times, p. 52
  4. ^ Waggoner, Walter (1969-06-18), "Jersey City Re-elects Whelan By Margin of 5 to 3 in Runoff; Militant Black Clergymen in Newark Ousts Councilman After Recall Campaign", The New York Times, p. 26
  5. ^ a b Strumm, Charles (1991-12-19), "Another Milepost on the Long Trail of Corruption in Hudson County", The New York Times
  6. ^ "EX-MAYOR WHELAN IS GRANTED PAROLE; Ex- Council Head Also to Be Freed --Served Terms for Extortion Both Men 'Gratified'", The New York Times, p. B15, 1978-07-21
  7. ^