William H. McNichols Jr.

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William H. McNichols Jr.
40th Mayor of Denver
In office
December 1968 – July 1983
Preceded by Tom Currigan
Succeeded by Federico Peña
Personal details
Born William Henry McNichols Jr.
(1910-04-11)April 11, 1910
Denver, Colorado
Died May 29, 1997(1997-05-29) (aged 87)
Resting place Mount Olivet Cemetery
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Political party Democratic
Awards Purple Heart
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Battles/wars World War II

William Henry McNichols Jr. (April 11, 1910 – May 29, 1997) served as the Mayor of Denver, Colorado from 1968 to 1983.[1]


Born in Denver, McNichols was the son of Cassie and William H. McNichols Sr. His father served as Denver's City Auditor from 1931 until 1955. His younger brother, Stephen, served as Governor of Colorado from 1957 to 1963.[2] After he graduated from Denver's East High School, he attended the University of Colorado-Boulder and then the University of Alabama, though he did not receive a degree from either institution. During World War II, he served with the U.S. Army in Europe, and received three battle stars and the Purple Heart.[3]

Political career[edit]

Appointed by Mayor Tom Currigan in 1963 as deputy mayor and manager of public works, Bill McNichols became mayor in December 1968 following Currigan's resignation to fill an executive position with Continental Airlines. Campaigning in the city elections of 1971, 1975, and 1979, McNichols won a return to city hall. Running for reelection in May 1983, he finished third in votes behind Federico Peña and Dale Tooley.[4]

During his fourteen years in office, several construction projects changed the landscape of the city, including:[5]

In 1985, McNichols received the Citizen of the West Award, given by the National Western Stock Show to those who personify the spirit and determination of the Western pioneer.[6]

McNichols died at his home on May 29, 1997. He is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.[7]

In 1999, the city's old Carnegie library building in Civic Center Park was renamed the McNichols Civic Center Building in the former mayor's honor. Previously used as offices for the city administration, the Greek-revival style structure underwent restoration from 2011 to 2012 and now serves as a cultural center for public exhibitions and community events.[8]


  1. ^ "McNichols/Career," Denver Post, 30 May 1997, p. A17.
  2. ^ Michael O'Keeffe, "Bill McNichols Dies at Home," Rocky Mountain News, 30 May 1997, p. 4A.
  3. ^ Arthur Hodges,"Ex-mayor McNichols dies at 87," Denver Post, 30 May 1997, p. A17.
  4. ^ Mark Stevens, "14-year reign ends for `Mayor Bill'," Rocky Mountain News, 18 May 1983, p. 7.
  5. ^ Arthur Hodges,"Ex-mayor McNichols dies at 87," Denver Post, 30 May 1997, p. A1.
  6. ^ "Former Mayor McNichols gets Western honor," Rocky Mountain News, 9 November 1984, p. 47.
  7. ^ "Services for McNichols this morning at basilica," Denver Post, 3 June 1997, p. 4B.
  8. ^ Tom Noel, "A Civic Center gem revamped," Denver Post, 18 November 2012, p. 4D.