Al Smith

Alfred Emanuel Smith (December 30, 1873 – October 4, 1944) was an American politician who served four terms as Governor of New York and was the Democratic Party's candidate for President in 1928.

Al Smith
42nd Governor of New York
In office
January 1, 1923  December 31, 1928
LieutenantGeorge R. Lunn
Seymour Lowman
Edwin Corning
Preceded byNathan L. Miller
Succeeded byFranklin D. Roosevelt
In office
January 1, 1919  December 31, 1920
LieutenantHarry C. Walker
Preceded byCharles S. Whitman
Succeeded byNathan L. Miller
8th President of the New York City Board of Aldermen
In office
January 1, 1917  December 31, 1918
Preceded byFrank Dowling
Succeeded byRobert L. Moran
Sheriff of New York County
In office
Preceded byMax Samuel Grifenhagen
Succeeded byDavid H. Knott
Member of the New York Assembly
from New York County's 2nd district
In office
January 1, 1904  December 31, 1915
Preceded byJoseph Bourke
Succeeded byPeter J. Hamill
Personal details
Alfred Emanuel Smith

(1873-12-30)December 30, 1873
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedOctober 4, 1944(1944-10-04) (aged 70)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Catherine Dunn

Smith was the foremost urban leader of the Efficiency Movement in the United States and was noted for achieving a wide range of reforms as governor in the 1920s. The son of an Irish-American mother and a Civil War veteran father, he was raised in the Lower East Side of Manhattan near the Brooklyn Bridge, where he resided for his entire life. Like many other New York politicians of his era, he was also linked to the notorious Tammany Hall political machine that controlled New York City's politics, although he remained personally untarnished by corruption.[1] Smith was a strong opponent of Prohibition, which he did not think could be enforced, and viewed it as an over-extension of the government's constitutional power. He was also the first Catholic to be nominated by a major party. His candidacy mobilized Catholic votes, especially from women, who had only recently received federal suffrage. It also brought out the anti-Catholic vote, which was especially strong among white conservative Democrats in the South, although Smith was still successful within the states of the Deep South.[2][3]

As a committed "wet" who opposed the prohibition laws, Smith attracted two groups: those who wanted their beer, wine and liquor and did not like dealing with criminal bootleggers, and those who were outraged that new criminal gangs had taken over the streets in most large and medium-sized cities.[4] Many Protestants feared his candidacy, including German Lutherans and Southern Baptists, believing that the Pope in Rome would dictate his policies. Incumbent Republican Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover was greatly aided by national prosperity and the absence of American involvement in war; Smith lost in a landslide to him, losing six southern states but carrying the Deep South. Four years later, Smith sought the 1932 nomination but was defeated by Franklin D. Roosevelt, his former ally and successor as Governor of New York. Smith entered business in New York City, became involved in the construction and promotion of the Empire State Building, and became an increasingly vocal opponent of Roosevelt's New Deal.

Early life

Smith was born at 174 South Street, and raised in the Fourth Ward on the Lower East Side of Manhattan; he resided here for his entire life.[5] His mother, Catherine (née Mulvihill), was the daughter of Maria Marsh and Thomas Mulvihill, who were immigrants from County Westmeath, Ireland.[6] His father, Alfred Emanuele Ferraro, took the anglicized name Alfred E. Smith ('ferraro' means 'blacksmith' or 'smith' in Italian). The elder Alfred was the son of Italian and German[7][8] immigrants. He served with the 11th New York Fire Zouaves in the opening months of the Civil War.

Smith grew up with his family struggling financially in the Gilded Age; New York City matured and completed major infrastructure projects. The Brooklyn Bridge was being constructed nearby. "The Brooklyn Bridge and I grew up together", Smith would later recall.[9] His four grandparents were Irish, German, Italian, and Anglo-Irish,[10] but Smith identified with the Irish-American community and became its leading spokesman in the 1920s.

His father Alfred owned a small trucking firm, but died when the boy was 13. Aged 14, Smith had to drop out of St. James parochial school to help support the family, and worked at a fish market for seven years. Prior to dropping out of school, he served as an altar boy, and was strongly influenced by the Catholic priests he worked with.[11] He never attended high school or college, and claimed he learned about people by studying them at the Fulton Fish Market, where he worked for $12 per week (equivalent to $323 today). His acting skills made him a success on the amateur theater circuit. He became widely known, and developed the smooth oratorical style that characterized his political career. On May 6, 1900, Al Smith married Catherine Ann Dunn, with whom he had five children.[1]

Political career

In his political career, Smith built on his working-class beginnings, identifying himself with immigrants and campaigning as a man of the people. Although indebted to the Tammany Hall political machine, particularly to its boss, "Silent" Charlie Murphy, he remained untarnished by corruption and worked for the passage of progressive legislation.[1] It was during his early unofficial jobs with Tammany Hall that he gained renown as an excellent speaker.[12] Smith's first political job was in 1895, as an investigator in the office of the Commissioner of Jurors as appointed by Tammany Hall.

State legislature

Smith was first elected to the New York State Assembly (New York Co., 2nd D.) in 1904, and was repeatedly elected to office, serving through 1915.[11] After being approached by Frances Perkins, an activist to improve labor practices, Smith sought to improve the conditions of factory workers. He served as vice chairman of the state commission appointed to investigate factory conditions after 146 workers died in the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Meeting the families of the deceased Triangle factory workers left a strong impression on him. Together with Perkins, Smith crusaded against dangerous and unhealthy workplace conditions and championed corrective legislation.[12][13]

The Commission was chaired by State Senator Robert F. Wagner and co-chaired by Smith. They held a series of widely publicized investigations around the state, interviewing 222 witnesses and taking 3500 pages of testimony. They hired field agents to do on-site inspections of factories. Starting with the issue of fire safety, they studied broader issues of the risks of injury in the factory environment. Their findings led to thirty-eight new laws regulating labor in New York State, and gave each of them a reputation as leading progressive reformers working on behalf of the working class. In the process, they changed Tammany's reputation from mere corruption to progressive endeavors to help the workers.[14] New York City's Fire Chief John Kenlon told the investigators that his department had identified more than 200 factories where conditions resulted in risk of a fire like that at the Triangle Factory.[15] The State Commission's reports led to the modernization of the state's labor laws, making New York State "one of the most progressive states in terms of labor reform."[16][17] New laws mandated better building access and egress, fireproofing requirements, the availability of fire extinguishers, the installation of alarm systems and automatic sprinklers, better eating and toilet facilities for workers, and limited the number of hours that women and children could work. In the years from 1911 to 1913, sixty of the sixty-four new laws recommended by the Commission were legislated with the support of Governor William Sulzer.[18]

In 1911, the Democrats obtained a majority of seats in the State Assembly, and Smith became Majority Leader and Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means. The following year, following the loss of the majority, he became the Minority Leader. When the Democrats reclaimed the majority after the next election, he was elected Speaker for the 1913 session. He became Minority Leader again in 1914 and 1915. In November 1915, he was elected Sheriff of New York County, New York. By now he was a leader of the Progressive movement in New York City and state. His campaign manager and top aide was Belle Moskowitz, a daughter of Jewish immigrants.[1]

Governor (1919–20, 1923–28)

After serving in the patronage-rich job of Sheriff of New York County, Smith was elected President of the Board of Aldermen of the City of New York in 1917. Smith was elected Governor of New York at the New York State election of 1918 with the help of Murphy and James A. Farley, who brought Smith the upstate vote.

In 1919, Smith gave the famous speech "A man as low and mean as I can picture",[19] making a drastic break with William Randolph Hearst. Publisher Hearst, known for his notoriously sensationalist and largely left-wing position in the state Democratic Party, was the leader of its populist wing in the city. He had combined with Tammany Hall in electing the local administration, and had attacked Smith for starving children by not reducing the cost of milk.[20]

Smith lost his bid for re-election at the New York State election of 1920, but was again elected governor in 1922, 1924 and 1926, with James A. Farley managing his campaign. In his 1922 re-election, he embraced his position as an anti-prohibitionist. Smith offered alcohol to guests at the Executive Mansion in Albany, and repealed the Prohibition enforcement statute: the Mullan-Gage law.[21] Governor Smith became known nationally as a progressive who sought to make government more efficient and more effective in meeting social needs. Smith's young assistant Robert Moses built the nation's first state park system and reformed the civil service, later gaining appointment as Secretary of State of New York. During Smith's term, New York strengthened laws governing workers' compensation, women's pensions and children and women's labor with the help of Frances Perkins, soon to be President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Labor Secretary.

In 1924, Smith unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for president, advancing the cause of civil liberty by decrying lynching and racial violence. Roosevelt delivered the nominating speech for Smith at the 1924 Democratic National Convention in which he saluted Smith as "the Happy Warrior of the political battlefield."[1] Smith represented the urban, east coast wing of the party as an anti-prohibition "wet" candidate while his main rival for the nomination, President Woodrow Wilson's son-in-law William Gibbs McAdoo (a former Secretary of the Treasury), stood for the more rural tradition and prohibition "dry" candidacy.[22] The party was hopelessly split between the two. An increasingly chaotic convention balloted 100 times before both men accepted that neither would be able to win the two-thirds majority required to win, and so each withdrew. The exhausted party nominated the little-known John W. Davis of West Virginia. Davis lost the election by a landslide to the Republican Calvin Coolidge, who won in part because of the prosperous times.

Undeterred, Smith returned to fight a determined campaign for the party's nomination in 1928.

1928 election

Reporter Frederick William Wile made the oft-repeated observation that Smith was defeated by "the three P's: Prohibition, Prejudice and Prosperity".[23] The Republican Party was still benefiting from an economic boom, as well as a failure to reapportion Congress and the electoral college following the 1920 census, which had registered a 15 percent increase in the urban population. The party was biased toward small-town and rural areas. Its presidential candidate Herbert Hoover did little to alter these events.

Historians agree that prosperity, along with widespread anti-Catholic sentiment against Smith, made Hoover's election inevitable.[24] He defeated Smith by a landslide in the 1928 election, carrying five southern states in crossover voting by conservative white Democrats (since the disenfranchisement of blacks in the South at the turn of the century, whites dominated voting).

The fact that Smith was Catholic and the descendant of Catholic immigrants was instrumental in his loss of the election of 1928.[11] Historical hostilities between Protestants and Catholics had been carried by national groups to the United States by immigrants, and centuries of Protestant domination allowed myths and superstitions about Catholicism to flourish. Long established Protestants had viewed the waves of Catholic immigrants from Ireland, Italy and Eastern Europe since the mid-19th century with suspicion. In addition, many Protestants carried old fears related to extravagant claims of one religion against the other which dated back to the European wars of religion. They feared that Smith would answer to the Pope rather than the United States Constitution. White rural conservatives in the South also believed that his close association with Tammany Hall, the Democratic machine in Manhattan, showed that he tolerated corruption in government (while they overlooked their own brands of it). Another major controversial issue was the continuation of Prohibition, which was widely considered a problem to enforce. Smith was personally in favor of the relaxation or repeal of Prohibition laws, because they had given rise to more criminality. The Democratic Party split North and South on the issue, with the more rural South continuing to favor Prohibition. During the campaign, Smith tried to duck the issue with non-committal statements.[25]

Smith was an articulate proponent of good government and efficiency, as was Hoover. Smith swept the entire Catholic vote, which had been split in 1920 and 1924 between the parties; he attracted millions of Catholics, generally ethnic whites, to the polls for the first time, especially women, who were first allowed to vote in 1920. He lost important Democratic constituencies in the rural North as well as in southern cities and suburbs. However, he successfully won votes in the Deep South, thanks in part to the appeal of his running mate, Senator Joseph Robinson from Arkansas, but he lost five southern states to Hoover. Smith carried the ten most populous cities in the United States, an indication of the rising power of the urban areas and their new demographics. In addition to these issues, Smith was not a very good campaigner. His campaign theme song, "The Sidewalks of New York", had little appeal among rural folks, and they found that his 'city' accent, when heard on radio, seemed slightly foreign. Smith narrowly lost New York State, whose electors were biased against rural upstate and largely Protestant districts. However, in 1928 his fellow Democrat Roosevelt (a Protestant of Dutch old-line stock) was elected to replace him as governor of New York.[26] James A. Farley left Smith's camp to run Franklin D. Roosevelt's successful campaign for Governor, and later Roosevelt's successful campaigns for the Presidency in 1932 and 1936.

Voter realignment

Some political scientists believe that the 1928 election started a voter realignment that helped develop the New Deal coalition of Franklin D. Roosevelt.[27] As one political scientist explains, "...not until 1928, with the nomination of Al Smith, a northeastern reformer, did Democrats make gains among the urban, blue-collar and Catholic voters who were later to become core components of the New Deal coalition and break the pattern of minimal class polarization that had characterized the Fourth Party System."[28] However, Allan Lichtman's quantitative analysis suggests that the 1928 results were based largely on religion and are not a useful barometer of the voting patterns of the New Deal era.[29]

Finan (2003) says Smith is an underestimated symbol of the changing nature of American politics in the first half of the last century. He represented the rising ambitions of urban, industrial America at a time when the hegemony of rural, agrarian America was in decline, although many states had legislatures and congressional delegations biased toward rural areas because of lack of redistricting after censuses. Smith was connected to the hopes and aspirations of immigrants, especially Catholics and Jews from eastern and southern Europe. Smith was a devout Catholic, but his struggles against religious bigotry were often misinterpreted when he fought the religiously inspired Protestant morality imposed by prohibitionists.

Opposition to Roosevelt and the New Deal

Smith felt slighted by Roosevelt during the latter's governorship. They became rivals for the Democratic Party presidential primaries, 1932 after Smith decided to run for the nomination. At the convention, Smith's animosity toward Roosevelt was so great that he put aside longstanding rivalries and managed to work with William Gibbs McAdoo and William Randolph Hearst to try to block FDR's nomination for several ballots. This unlikely coalition fell apart when Smith refused to work on finding a compromise candidate; instead, he maneuvered to become the nominee. After losing the nomination, Smith eventually campaigned for Roosevelt in 1932, giving a particularly important speech on behalf of the Democratic nominee at Boston on October 27 in which he "pulled out all the stops."[30]

Smith became highly critical of Roosevelt's New Deal policies, which he deemed a betrayal of good-government progressive ideals and ran counter to the goal of close cooperation with business. Smith joined the American Liberty League, an organization founded by conservative Democrats who disapproved of Roosevelt's New Deal measures and tried to rally public opinion against the New Deal. In 1934 Smith and a coupe of businessmen referred to as the American Liberty League attempted to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt in a military coupe in 1934, Smith joined forces with wealthy business executives, who provided most of the League's funds. The League published pamphlets and sponsored radio programs, arguing that the New Deal was destroying personal liberty. However, the League failed to gain support in the 1934 and even attempted to gain the support of USMC retired General Smedly Butler but Butler ended up reporting their coupe attempt. and 1936 elections and rapidly declined in influence. It was officially dissolved in 1940.[31][32] Smith's antipathy to Roosevelt and his policies was so great that he supported Republican presidential candidates Alfred M. Landon (in the 1936 election) and Wendell Willkie (in the 1940 election).[1]

Although personal resentment was one factor in Smith's break with Roosevelt and the New Deal, Christopher Finan (2003) argues that Smith was consistent in his beliefs and politics—suggesting that Smith always believed in social mobility, economic opportunity, religious tolerance, and individualism. Despite the break between the men, Smith and Eleanor Roosevelt remained close. In 1936, while Smith was in Washington making a vehement radio attack on the President, she invited him to stay at the White House. To avoid embarrassing the Roosevelts, he declined. Historian Robert Slayton notes that Smith and Franklin Roosevelt did not reconcile until a brief meeting in June 1941, and he also suggests that during the early 1940s the antipathy which Smith held toward his former ally had waned.[33] Upon the death of Smith's wife Katie in May 1944, FDR sent Smith a note of personal condolences; Smith's grandchildren later recalled that Smith was "greatly touched by it."[34]

Business life and later years

After the 1928 election, Smith became the president of Empire State, Inc., the corporation that built and operated the Empire State Building. Construction for the building symbolically began on March 17, 1930, St. Patrick's Day, per Smith's instructions. Smith's grandchildren cut the ribbon when the world's tallest skyscraper opened on May 1, 1931, which was May Day, an international labor celebration. Its construction had been completed in only 13 months, a record for such a large project. As with the Brooklyn Bridge, which Smith had seen being built from his Lower East Side boyhood home, the Empire State Building was both a vision and an achievement that had been constructed by combining the interests of all, rather than being divided by the interests of a few. Smith continued to promote the Empire State Building, which was derided as the "Empty State Building" due to a lack of tenants, in the years following its construction.[35][36]

In 1929 Smith was elected President of the Board of Trustees of the New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University.[37] Knowing his fondness for animals, in 1934 Robert Moses made Al Smith the Honorary Night Zookeeper of the newly-renovated Central Park Zoo. Though a ceremonial title, Smith was given keys to the zoo and often took guests to see the animals after hours.[38]

Smith was an early and vocal critic of the Nazi regime in Germany. He supported the Anti-Nazi boycott of 1933 and addressed a mass-meeting at Madison Square Garden against Nazism that March.[39] His speech was included in the 1934 anthology Nazism: An Assault on Civilization.[40] In 1938, Smith took to the airwaves to denounce Nazi brutality in the wake of Kristallnacht. His words were published in The New York Times article "Text of the Catholic Protest Broadcast" of November 17, 1938.[41][42]

Like most New York City businessmen, Smith enthusiastically supported American military involvement in World War II. Although he was not asked by Roosevelt to play any role in the war effort, Smith was an active and vocal proponent of FDR's attempts to amend the Neutrality Act in order to allow "Cash and Carry" sales of war equipment to be made to the British. Smith spoke on behalf of the policy in October 1939, to which FDR responded directly: "Very many thanks. You were grand."[43]

In 1939 Smith was appointed a Papal Chamberlain of the Sword and Cape, one of the highest honors which the Papacy bestowed on a layman. In the early 21st century, this honor is styled a Gentleman of His Holiness.

Smith died at the Rockefeller Institute Hospital on October 4, 1944, of a heart attack, at the age of 70. He had been broken-hearted over the death of his wife from cancer five months earlier, on May 4, 1944.[44] He is interred at Calvary Cemetery.[45]


Namesakes of Al Smith
Alfred E. Smith Memorial at New York Medical College
The Alfred Smith School, PS 163
Alfred E. Smith Career and Technical Education High School in the South Bronx
The Alfred E. Smith Building in Albany, New York
Governor Alfred E. Smith Sunken Meadow State Park in Suffolk County

Electoral history

New York gubernatorial elections, 1918–1926

1918 General election results
Governor candidate Running Mate Party Popular Vote
Alfred E. Smith Harry C. Walker Democratic 1,009,936 (47.37%)
Charles S. Whitman Edward Schoeneck (Republican),
Mamie W. Colvin (Prohibition)
995,094 (46.68%)
Charles Wesley Ervin Ella Reeve Bloor Socialist 121,705 (5.71%)
Olive M. Johnson August Gillhaus Socialist Labor 5,183 (0.24%)


  • 1918 was the first time women voted for governor of New York, and Alfred E. Smith was the first governor elected with more than 1 million votes. But, given the much-expanded electorate, his historic total still represented only a plurality of votes.
  • For comparison, in the New York Gubernatorial Election of 1916, Charles S. Whitman (whom Smith defeated in 1918) had won a 52.63% majority with 850,020 votes.
  • The total ballots cast for governor in 1918 was 2,192,970. Besides the votes for the above candidates, there were 43,630 blank votes; 16,892 spoilt votes; and 530 scattering votes.[46]
  • The Governor's term was extended to four years in 1938, Article IV, New York Constitution.

1920 General election results
Governor candidate Running Mate Party Popular Vote
Nathan L. Miller Jeremiah Wood Republican 1,335,878 (46.58%)
Alfred E. Smith George R. Fitts Democratic 1,261,812 (44.00%)
Joseph D. Cannon Jessie Wallace Hughan Socialist 159,804 (5.57%)
Dudley Field Malone Farmer-Labor 69,908 (2.44%)
George F. Thompson Edward G. Deltrich Prohibition 35,509 (1.24%)
John P. Quinn Socialist Labor 5,015 (0.17%)

1922 General election results
Governor candidate Running Mate Party Popular Vote
Alfred E. Smith George R. Lunn Democratic 1,397,670 (55.21%)
Nathan L. Miller William J. Donovan Republican 1,011,725 (39.97%)
Edward F. Cassidy Theresa B. Wiley Socialist,
109,119 (4.31%)
George K. Hinds William C. Ramsdell Prohibition 9,499 (0.38%)
Jeremiah D. Crowley John E. DeLee Socialist Labor 9,499 (0.38%)

1924 General election results
Governor candidate Running Mate Party Popular Vote
Alfred E. Smith George R. Lunn Democratic 1,627,111 (49.96%)
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. Seymour Lowman Republican 1,518,552 (46.63%)
Norman Mattoon Thomas Charles Solomon Socialist 99,854 (3.07%)
James P. Cannon Franklin P. Brill Workers 6,395 (0.20%)
Frank E. Passonno Milton Weinberger Socialist Labor 4,931 (0.15%)

Note: This was the last time the running mate of the elected governor was defeated, Democrat Smith having Republican Lowman as lieutenant for the duration of this term.

1926 General election results
Governor candidate Running Mate Party Popular Vote
Alfred E. Smith Edwin Corning Democratic 1,523,813 (52.13%)
Ogden L. Mills Seymour Lowman Republican 1,276,137 (43.80%)
Jacob Panken August Claessens Socialist 83,481 (2.87%)
Charles E. Manierre Ella McCarthy Prohibition 21,285 (0.73%)
Benjamin Gitlow Franklin P. Brill Workers 5,507 (0.19%)
Jeremiah D. Crowley John E. DeLee Socialist Labor 3,553 (0.12%)

United States presidential election, 1928

Electoral Results
Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote Electoral
Running mate
Count Percentage Vice-presidential candidate Home state Electoral vote
Herbert Hoover Republican California 21,427,123 58.2% 444 Charles Curtis Kansas 444
Alfred E. Smith Democratic New York 15,015,464 40.8% 87 Joseph Taylor Robinson Arkansas 87
Norman Thomas Socialist New York 267,478 0.7% 0 James H. Maurer Pennsylvania 0
William Z. Foster Communist Illinois 48,551 0.1% 0 Benjamin Gitlow New York 0
Other 48,396 0.1% Other
Total 36,807,012 100% 531 531
Needed to win 266 266
  • Source (Popular Vote): Leip, David. "1928 Presidential Election Results". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved July 28, 2005.
  • Source (Electoral Vote): "Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved July 28, 2005.

See also


  1. Slayton 2001, ch 1-4
  2. "Deep South". The Free Dictionary. Retrieved January 18, 2007.
  3. Neal R. Pierce, The Deep South States of America: People, Politics, and Power in the Seven States of the Deep South (1974), pp 123-61
  4. Daniel Okrent, Last Call, 2010.
  5. MacAdam, George (January 1920). "Governor Smith of New York". The World's Work. Vol. XXXIX no. 3. New York: Doubleday, Page & Co. p. 237. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
  6. Slayton, Robert A. (2001). Empire Statesman: The Rise and Redemption of Al Smith. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-684-86302-3.
  7. Barkan, Elliott Robert (2001). Making it in America: a sourcebook on eminent ethnic Americans. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. p. 350. ISBN 978-1-57607-098-7.
  8. "New York State Census, 1855; pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-25847-12175-45 —".
  9. Slayton (2001), p. 16
  10. Josephsons 1969
  11. Burner, David. "Al Smith". American National Biography. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  12. Von Drehle, David (2003). Triangle: The Fire That Changed America. New York, NY: Grove Press New York. pp. 204–210. ISBN 0-8021-4151-X.
  13. "Obama, the Triangle Fire and the Real Father of the New Deal". Retrieved March 25, 2011.
  14. Robert Ferdinand Wagner" in Dictionary of American Biography (1977)
  15. The New York Times: "Factory Firetraps Found by Hundreds," October 14, 1911,
  16. Richard A. Greenwald, The Triangle Fire, the Protocols of Peace, and Industrial Democracy in Progressive Era New York (2005), 128
  17. The Economist, "Triangle Shirtwaist: The Birth of the New Deal", March 19, 2011, p. 39.
  18. Slayton, Empire Statesman (2001) pp 92-92
  19. MacArthur, Brian (May 1, 2000). The Penguin Book of 20th-Century Speeches. Penguin (Non-Classics). ISBN 0-14-028500-8.
  20. Procter, Ben H. (2007). William Randolph Hearst. Oxford University Press US. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-19-532534-8.
  21. Lerner, Michael (2007). Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. 239–240. ISBN 978-0-674-03057-2.
  22. "Al Smitator h". Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  23. reprinted 1977, John A. Ryan, "Religion in the Election of 1928," Current History, December 1928; reprinted in Ryan, Questions of the Day (Ayer Publishing, 1977) p.91
  24. William E. Leuchtenburg, The Perils of Prosperity, 1914–32 (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1958) pp. 225–240.
  25. Lichtman (1979);Slayton 2001
  26. Slayton 2001; Lichtman (1979)
  27. Degler (1964)
  28. Lawrence (1996) p 34.
  29. Lichtman (1976)
  30. J. Joseph Huthmacher, Massachusetts People and Politics: The Transition from Republican to Democratic Dominance and Its National Implications (1973), p. 248.
  31. George Wolfskill. The Revolt of the Conservatives: A History of the American Liberty League, 1934–1940. (Houghton Mifflin, 1962).
  32. Jordan A. Schwarz, "Al Smith in the Thirties," New York History (1964): 316-330. in JSTOR
  33. Slayton, Empire Statesman, pp. 397-398.
  34. Slayton, Empire Statesman, pp. 399-400.
  35. "NYT Travel: Empire State Building". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 19, 2010. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
  36. Smith, Adam (August 18, 2008). "A Renters' Market in London". Time. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
  37. Reznikoff, Charles, ed. 1957. Louis Marshall: Champion of Liberty. Selected Papers and Addresses. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, p. 1123.
  38. Caro, Robert (1974). The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. New York: Knopf. ISBN 978-0-394-48076-3. OCLC 834874.
  39. Staff. "35,000 JAM STREETS OUTSIDE THE GARDEN; Solid Lines of Police Hard Pressed to Keep Overflow Crowds From Hall. AREA BARRED TO TRAFFIC Mulrooney Takes Command to Avoid Roughness -- 3,000 at Columbus Circle Meeting. 35,000 IN STREETS OUTSIDE GARDEN", The New York Times, March 28, 1933. Accessed June 7, 2017.
  40. Pierre van Paasen and James Waterman Wise, eds., Nazism: An Assault on Civilization (New York: Harrison Smith and Robert Haas, 1934), pp. 306-310.
  41. David M. Kennedy, Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999) ISBN 9780199743827
  42. Slayton, Empire Statesman, p. 391.
  43. Slayton, Empire Statesman, pp. 391-392.
  44. "Alfred E. Smith Dies Here at 70; 4 Times Governor — End Comes After a Sudden Relapse Following Earlier Turn for the Better — Ran For President in '28 — His Rise From Newsboy and Fishmonger Had No Exact Parallel in U.S. History". New York Times. October 4, 1944. p. 1. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
  45. "U.S. Department of Labor – Labor Hall of Fame – Alfred E. Smith". Archived from the original on February 17, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
  46. "Election result", The New York Times, 31 December 1918
  47. Bradley, Edwin M. (June 14, 2015). The First Hollywood Sound Shorts, 1926-1931. McFarland. p. 16. ISBN 9781476606842.
  48. Lewis, Sinclair (1928). The Man who Knew Coolidge: Being the Soul of Lowell Schmaltz, Constructive and Nordic Citizen. Harcourt, Brace. p. 269.
  49. Crowther, Bosley (September 29, 1960). "Review 1 -- No Title:' Sunrise at Campobello' Opens at the Palace". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 18, 2019.


  • Campaign Addresses of Governor Alfred E. Smith, Democratic Candidate for President 1928. Washington, DC: Democratic National Committee, 1929.
  • Progressive Democracy: Addresses & State Papers. 1928.
  • Up to Now: An Autobiography (The Viking Press, 1929)

Further reading

  • Bornet, Vaughn Davis. Labor Politics in a Democratic Republic: Moderation, Division, and Disruption in the Presidential Election of 1928 (1964) online edition
  • Chiles, Robert. "Working-Class Conservationism in New York: Governor Alfred E. Smith and 'The Property of the People of the State'" Environmental History (2013) 18#1 pp: 157-183.
  • Chiles, Robert. 2018. The Revolution of '28: Al Smith, American Progressivism, and the Coming of the New Deal. Cornell University Press.
  • Colburn, David R. "Governor Alfred E. Smith and the Red Scare, 1919-20," Political Science Quarterly, vol. 88, no. 3 (Sept. 1973), pp. 423–444. In JSTOR.
  • Craig, Douglas B. After Wilson: The Struggle for Control of the Democratic Party, 1920–1934 (1992) online edition see Chap. 6 "The Problem of Al Smith" and Chap. 8 "'Wall Street Likes Al Smith': The Election of 1928"
  • Degler, Carl N. (1964). "American Political Parties and the Rise of the City: An Interpretation". Journal of American History. 51 (1): 41–59. doi:10.2307/1917933. JSTOR 1917933.
  • Eldot, Paula (1983). Governor Alfred E. Smith: The Politician as Reformer. Garland. ISBN 0-8240-4855-5.
  • Finan, Christopher M. (2003). Alfred E. Smith: The Happy Warrior. Hill and Wang. ISBN 0-8090-3033-0.
  • Handlin, Oscar (1958). Al Smith and His America. Little, Brown.
  • Hostetler, Michael J. (1998). "Gov. Al Smith Confronts the Catholic Question: The Rhetorical Legacy of the 1928 Campaign". Communication Quarterly. 46. doi:10.1080/01463379809370081.
  • Josephson, Matthew and Hannah (1969). Al Smith: Hero of the Cities. Houghton Mifflin.
  • Lawrence, David G. (1996). The Collapse of the Democratic Presidential Majority: Realignment, Dealignment, and Electoral Change from Franklin Roosevelt to Bill Clinton. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-8984-4.
  • Lichtman, Allan J. (1979). Prejudice and the old politics: The Presidential election of 1928. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-1358-3. OCLC 4492475.
  • Lichtman, Allan (1976). "Critical Election Theory and the Reality of American Presidential Politics, 1916–40". The American Historical Review. 81 (2): 317–351. doi:10.2307/1851173. JSTOR 1851173.
    • Carter, Paul A. (1980). "Deja Vu; Or, Back to the Drawing Board with Alfred E. Smith". Reviews in American History. 8 (2): 272–276. doi:10.2307/2701129. JSTOR 2701129.; review of Lichtman
  • Moore, Edmund A. (1956). A Catholic Runs for President: The Campaign of 1928. OCLC 475746. online edition
  • Neal, Donn C. (1983). The World beyond the Hudson: Alfred E. Smith and National Politics, 1918–1928. New York: Garland. p. 308. ISBN 978-0-8240-5658-2.
  • Neal, Donn C. (1984). "What If Al Smith Had Been Elected?". Presidential Studies Quarterly. 14 (2): 242–248.
  • Perry, Elisabeth Israels (1987). Belle Moskowitz: Feminine Politics and the Exercise of Power in the Age of Alfred E. Smith. Oxford University Press. p. 280. ISBN 0-19-504426-6.
  • "Smith to Talk Oct. 23". New York Times. 1940. p. 17.
  • "Smith Says Roosevelt Aroused Spirit of Class Hatred in Nation". New York Times. 1940. p. 1, 18.
  • Rulli, Daniel F. "Campaigning in 1928: Chickens in Pots and Cars in Backyards," Teaching History: A Journal of Methods, Vol. 31#1 pp 42+ (2006) online version with lesson plans for class
  • Schwarz, Jordan A. "Al Smith in the Thirties." New York History (1964): 316-330. in JSTOR
  • Slayton, Robert A. (2001). Empire Statesman: The Rise and Redemption of Al Smith. Free Press. p. 480. ISBN 978-0-684-86302-3., the standard scholarly biography
  • Stonecash, Jeffrey M., et al. "Politics, Alfred Smith, and Increasing the Power of the New York Governor's Office." New York History (2004): 149-179. in JSTOR
  • Sweeney, James R. "Rum, Romanism, and Virginia Democrats: The Party Leaders and the Campaign of 1928." Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 90 (October 1982): 403–31.
New York Assembly
Preceded by
Joseph Bourke
Member of the New York Assembly
from New York County's 2nd district

Succeeded by
Peter J. Hamill
Preceded by
Edwin Albert Merritt
Majority Leader of the New York Assembly
Succeeded by
Frank L. Young
Minority Leader of the New York Assembly
Succeeded by
Harold J. Hinman
Preceded by
Harold J. Hinman
Minority Leader of the New York Assembly
Succeeded by
Joseph M. Callahan
Political offices
Preceded by
Edwin Albert Merritt
Speaker of the New York Assembly
Succeeded by
Thaddeus C. Sweet
Preceded by
Frank Dowling
President of the New York City Board of Aldermen
Succeeded by
Robert L. Moran
Preceded by
Charles S. Whitman
Governor of New York
Succeeded by
Nathan L. Miller
Preceded by
Nathan L. Miller
Governor of New York
Succeeded by
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Party political offices
Preceded by
Samuel Seabury
Democratic nominee for Governor of New York
1918, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1926
Succeeded by
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by
John W. Davis
Democratic nominee for President of the United States
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