Fiorello H. La Guardia

(Fiorello Henry La Guardia)

Fiorello H. La Guardia
Fiorello H. La Guardia
  • Born: December 11, 1882
  • Died: September 20, 1947
  • Nationality:
  • Profession:









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Fiorello Henry La Guardia was an American politician. He is best known for being the 99th Mayor of New York City for three terms from 1934 to 1945 as a Republican. Previously he had been elected to Congress in 1916 and 1918, and again from 1922 through 1930. Irascible, energetic, and charismatic, he craved publicity and is acclaimed as one of the greatest mayors in American history. Only five feet, two inches (1.57 m) tall, he was called "the Little Flower" (Fiorello is Italian for "little flower").

Quotes About
Author Quote
Quote Topics Cited
... a fixed obsession on Anglo-Saxon superiority. Immigration & Emigration
... the kept woman of big business. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
... the most expensive luxury the war produced. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
[Describing Prohibition:] Politicians are ducking, candidates are hedging, the Anti-Saloon League is prospering, people are being poisoned, bootleggers are being enriched, and Government officials are being corrupted. Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs
American labor, whenever it gathers, does so with love for its flag and country and loyalty to its government. Flags & National Anthems
An industry that can not pay its workers a decent living wage has no right to exist. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
Any Italian-American who votes the Democratic ticket this year is an Austrian bastard. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Do after election as before election you said you would. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Don't worry about people knowing you. Make yourself worth knowing. Public Relations & Image
establish and maintain equal opportunity and industrial justice. Equality & Equal Opportunity
Every member present must behave like a gentleman, and those who are not must try to. Legislating & Legislative Process
Hell, this isn’t a pinochle party we’re having. It’s war. War & Peace
I am a Republican. But I am not running on the Republican platform. I'm running on my own platform. I stand for the Republicanism of Abraham Lincoln. Political Parties & Machines
I am against war, and because I am against war I went to war to fight against war. War & Peace
I asked for help and you send me a bulletin. The people of New York can not feed their children on Department bulletins. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
I believe that a good portion will be in due time be returned, but I am certain that some of it will have to be placed on the profit and loss column of Uncle Sam's books. Let us understand that clearly now and not be deceived later. [He was right.] Foreign Aid
I can’t come up here each year to the legislature and beg for money. Budgets & Budgeting
I don’t make many mistakes but when I make one, it’s a beaut. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I invented the low blow. I can outdemagogue the best of demagogues. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
I loathe the professional politician. I have never been a regular. I have fought political machines and party politics at every opportunity. Political Parties & Machines
I say that the most inefficient, wasteful self-government is worth more than the most efficient dictatorship. Management & Managing Government ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
I'd rather split an infinitive than split an idea. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
If any signers of the petition will take my seat in a Caproni biplane, I shall be glad to resume my upholstered seat in the House. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
In 1920, at the height of one of the "Red scares," the New York State legislature voted to unseat five legally elected Socialist assemblymen:] The ballot is the legitimate weapon of the Socialists just as it is of the general public. Voters, Voting & Elections
In our talk a few days ago, you indicated that my candidacy for Congress on the Republican ticket would depend on my compliance with certain minimum requirements. Desirable and comfortable as a party nomination may be, I cannot sacrifice principle for the sake of party nomination or anything else. During my time in the House I ... voted according to my best judgement, and in a manner which I believed represented the wishes of the people of my district. The platform of the Republican party ... makes no appeal to the hope of the people whom I represent. Political Parties & Machines
In war time you will do almost anything. You just have to. Diplomacy & Diplomats
Incompetency, criminal negligence, and almost treasonable administration of national defense. Military & Veterans
It has happened, in all ages of the world, that some have labored and others have, without labor, enjoyed a large proportion of the fruits. This is wrong and should not continue. To secure to each laborer the whole product of his labor, or as nearly as possible, is a worthy object of any good government. That's my platform, but when the average Republican leader in the East hears it, he thinks I am quoting from Karl Marx. I did quote it, but not from Karl Marx. I quoted it from Abraham Lincoln. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
It is as natural for an American to sympathize with the cause of liberty as it is for a mother to love her own child. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Let us act with our eyes open. We are going to have a deficit next fiscal year and the year after that. Budgets & Budgeting
Mr. Speaker, reserving the right to object, I call the attention of the House to these bridge bills that are coming up .... This bill is typical of the type of bill that should be objected to. Patronage & Pork Barrel
My country? My country is the United States. Loyalty & Loyalty Oaths
My own interest in marijuana goes back many years, to the time when I was a member of the House of Representatives and, in that capacity, heard of the use of marihuana by soldiers stationed in Panama. I was impressed at that time with the report of an Army Board of Inquiry which emphasized the relative harmlessness of the drug and the fact that it played a very little role, if any, in problems of delinquency and crime in the Canal Zone. Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs
Nothing you could do would make me mad. You're a complete official failure. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Only a well fed, well housed, well schooled people can enjoy the blessings of liberty. Freedom & Liberty
Pacifism is patriotism. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
Paris gigolo ... English fop. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Some men who claim to be exponents of Republican principles know as much about the teachings of Abraham Lincoln as Henry Ford knows about the Talmud. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Tell the Arch-Duchess that she may boss her own immigrants, but she can't boss the American consul. Diplomacy & Diplomats
The American home, a steady job, an opportunity for the children to go to school properly nourished is the way to combat communism. Families, Children & Parenting
The bankers of the country are more to blame than are any other group for the present depression. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The bastards broke the People's back with their usury.... Let them die; the People will survive. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The direct primary is the salvation of American politics. It vests responsibility where it belongs—in the people. Voters, Voting & Elections
The function of a progressive is to keep on protesting until things get so bad that a reactionary demands reform. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
The new technique of war has created the necessity of developing a new technique of civil defense. It is not just community singing, sweater knitting and basket weaving that is needed. Defense & National Security
The only way to meet the situation [the financial crisis] is spend less money and to run the City of New York within the limits of our resources. Unless you do this, gentlemen, you will have a difficult problem confronting you by the end of this year and the taxpayers of 1922 and the years thereafter will have to pay the price of our present lack of prudence or our unwillingness to economize at the proper time. Budgets & Budgeting
The people have been plundered by profiteers... [Saying] that is not demagogy; it is democracy—the democracy of Jefferson. It is not radicalism; it is republicanism—the republicanism of Lincoln. Business, Commerce & Finance
The purpose of the income tax law is to prevent the accumulation of enormous fortunes, and the control of industry and commerce that goes with such large fortunes. Taxes
The question of the protection of childhood [child labor legislation] is not a political one. It is not even an American question. It is just simply a humane problem in which all decent ... loving men and women should be deeply interested. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
The success of a democracy depends on the enlightenment of its people. The people should know what's going on, and public officials should keep the people informed. Secrecy & Transparency
There comes a time in the life of every public official when he must decide between right and regularity. Political Parties & Machines
There is living proof that the world's oldest profession is not limited to any one sex. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
There is nothing unnatural about kissing. If more husbands would learn from the stage and pictures just how to kiss, and then go home and practice on their wives, there would be happier homes and fewer divorces. Media, Journalism & The Press
This is 1930, not 1898. We have not only arrived at a 44-hour week but in this machine age we are arriving at the time when all workers will soon be given a 40-hour week. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
This law will be impossible to enforce. It will produce contempt for our laws and law enforcement. Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs
Those who like Italy better than America should return to Italy. [Few did. Many enlisted.] Loyalty & Loyalty Oaths
To add current expenses of the Government to the national debt ... and thereby pass the current cost of government to the next generation is not only bad financing but very bad statesmanship. Budgets & Budgeting
Wars are directed by bankers. Business, Commerce & Finance
We must have modern conditions to meet modern machinery. As labor-saving devices are installed and used for production we must necessarily shorten the number of hours per day, and we are now at the state where we will necessarily have to come to a five day week because, gentlemen, you cannot have prosperity unless you have employment. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
We must produce a true American motor, a true American plane. Business, Commerce & Finance
Why in every instance should we be represented in any part of this world by any man who is not an American citizen? Diplomacy & Diplomats
With the exception of members of Congress and their families, and instructors in civics and constitutional lawyers, I do not believe there are two percent of the American people who know that a member of Congress is elected one year and does not take his office until 13 months afterwards. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Women in politics are the hope of American politics. They are either going to break the control of the bosses or put the political parties out of business. Political Parties & Machines
You cannot preach self-government and liberty to people in a starving land. Foreign Aid
You’re a thug. Now get out of here and keep away. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers