Frank Hague

Biography of Frank Hague

Frank Hague (January 17, 1876 – January 1, 1956) was an American Democratic Party politician who served as the mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey from 1917 to 1947, Democratic National Committeeman from New Jersey from 1922 until 1949, and Vice-Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1924 until 1949.

Hague has a widely-known reputation for corruption and bossism and has been called "the grandaddy of Jersey bosses." By the time he left office in 1947, he enjoyed palatial homes, European vacations, and a private suite at the Plaza Hotel. His wealth has been estimated to have been over $10 million at the time of his death, although his City salary never exceeded $8,500 per year and he had no other legitimate source of income. His desk, which is still located in City Hall, has a specially designed lap drawer which could be pushed outward towards the person with whom he was meeting. This allowed his "guests" to discreetly deliver bribes in the form of envelopes containing large amounts of cash.

During the height of his power Hague's political machine, known as "the organization," was one of the most powerful in the United States controlling politics on local, county, and state levels. Hague's personal influence extended to the national level, influencing federal patronage and Presidential campaigns.

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