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Best San Francisco mayor of All Time

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    1
    Willie Brown

    Willie Brown

    Willie Lewis Brown, Jr. (born March 20, 1934) is an American politician of the Democratic Party. He served over 30 years in the California State Assembly, spending 15 years as its Speaker, and afterward served as the 41st mayor of San Francisco, the first African American to do so. Under the current California term limits law, no Speaker of the California State Assembly will ever have a longer tenure than Brown's. The San Francisco Chronicle called Brown “one of San Francisco’s most notable mayors” that had “celebrity beyond the city’s boundaries.” Brown was born in Mineola, Texas and attended a segregated high school. He moved to San Francisco in 1951, attending San Francisco State, graduating in 1955 with a degree in liberal studies. Brown earned a J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1958. He spent several years in private practice before gaining election in his second attempt to the California Assembly in 1964. Brown became the Democrats' whip in 1969 and Speaker in 1980. He was known for his ability to manage people and maintain party discipline. According to The New York Times, Brown became one of the country's most powerful state legislators.
    6.67
    6 votes
    2

    Stephen Palfrey Webb

    Stephen Palfrey Webb (March 20, 1804 – September 29, 1879) was third and twelfth Mayor of Salem, Massachusetts serving (1842–1845, 1860–1862) and the sixth Mayor of San Francisco (1854–1855). Webb was born to Stephen and Sara (Putnam) Palfrey Webb in Salem, Massachusetts on March 20, 1804. Webb graduated from Harvard College in 1824. Webb studied law with Hon. John Glen King. Webb was admitted to the Essex County Bar and began his practice of law in Salem. On May 26, 1834, Webb married Hannah Hunt Beckford Robinson. Webb served in the Massachusetts Legislature, first in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and then in the Massachusetts Senate. He was then elected mayor of Salem, serving three years in his first time in that office. He moved in to San Francisco in approximately 1853, was elected as Mayor with backing from the Know Nothing movement in 1854 where, he witnessed the violent mobs that ran through the city following the Gold Rush. He would prepare a report about these mobs (known as vigilance committees) in 1874. After returning to Salem, Webb would be elected to his final term as that city's mayor, in which he served from 1860 to 1862. Webb also served as city
    6.33
    6 votes
    3

    Charles James Brenham

    Charles James Brenham was the second and fourth mayor of San Francisco in 1851 and from 1852 to 1853. Brenham was born on November 6, 1817 in Frankfort, Kentucky. At an early age, he left home to work on riverboats on the Mississippi. By age twenty, he ran his own steamship. He learned the hard lessons of self-reliance and endurance after seeing other ships sink and burn. In 1849, he moved to California, where he ferried passengers between San Francisco and Sacramento. Not long thereafter, he was asked by the Whig party to run for mayor of San Francisco. He refused at first, but later acquiesced on the condition that he not leave his ship to campaign and that if he won, his duties as mayor did not interfere with his ferry business. He lost to John W. Geary in the 1850 election but ran again in 1851 at the Whigs' insistence. He won the 1851 election and became mayor on May 5 of that year. During Geary's term the city went into massive debt and violent crime became an epidemic in the city. While a new city charter allowed the city to issue bonds to pay off the debt, the crime rate skyrocketed to such a point that the citizens began forming squads called Committees of
    7.40
    5 votes
    4
    Eugene Schmitz

    Eugene Schmitz

    Eugene Edward Schmitz (August 22, 1864, San Francisco – November 20, 1928, San Francisco) was an American politician and the 26th mayor of San Francisco, who became notorious for his conviction by a jury on charges of corruption. "Handsome Gene" was the son of an Irish mother and a German father. He had played the violin and conducted the orchestra at the Columbia Theatre on Powell Street in San Francisco. Schmitz was president of the Musicians' Union, when Abe Ruef chose him to run for mayor on the ticket of the Union Labor Party. Schmitz was elected in 1902 and was the mayor of his hometown when the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and subsequent fire destroyed a prodigious amount of the city. On the day of the earthquake, Wednesday, April 18, he invited a cross section of the city's most prominent businessmen, politicians and civic leaders, but none of the members of the Board of Supervisors, to form the Committee of Fifty to help him manage the crisis. On June 13, 1907, Schmitz was found guilty of extortion, and the office of Mayor was declared vacant. He was sent to jail to await sentence. Shortly thereafter he was sentenced to five years at San Quentin State Prison, the maximum
    7.40
    5 votes
    5
    Isaac Smith Kalloch

    Isaac Smith Kalloch

    Isaac Smith Kalloch (July 10, 1832 – December 9, 1887) was the 18th Mayor of San Francisco serving from December 1, 1879 to December 4, 1881. He was born at Rockland, Maine and was a native of Maine. Kalloch was a Baptist minister and came to California looking to spread the Baptist religion. In 1879, he decided to run for mayor of San Francisco. It wasn't long before he came under attack from the San Francisco Chronicle's editor-in-chief, Charles DeYoung, who was backing another candidate. DeYoung, with the hopes of taking Kalloch out of the mayoral race, accused the minister of having an affair. Kalloch responded by accusing Charles' mother, Amelia, of running a brothel. In response, Charles DeYoung ambushed Kalloch in the streets of San Francisco and shot him twice. Kalloch survived the wounds and with the sympathy of voters was elected the 18th Mayor of San Francisco. He served from 1879 until 1881. On April 23, 1880, Kalloch's son, Isaac Milton Kalloch, entered the Chronicle building and shot and killed Charles DeYoung. After his time in office, Kalloch left San Francisco and moved to the Washington Territory. He died of diabetes in Bellingham, Washington, aged 55.
    8.00
    3 votes
    6

    George Hewston

    George Hewston (September 11, 1826 – September 4, 1891) was appointed the 16th Mayor of San Francisco upon the death of James Otis. He was sworn in on November 4, 1875 and served until December 5, 1875. Hewston was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He apprenticed himself to a physician and then took a medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania. He moved with his family to San Francisco to escape the Civil War. Hewston established a new medical practice upon his arrival, supplementing his income by lecturing at the Toland College of Medicine (later UCSF). His skill at lecturing brought him to the attention of the People's Party, which nominated him for Supervisor. He was appointed mayor to finish James Otis's unfinished term. During his brief term, Hewston sat in on an investigation into charges against six policemen. He also refused to make inflated payments for unspecified repairs. He was known for making a speech condemning the Chinese for bringing opium into the city. After his term, he served on the commission to plan California's celebration of America's centennial. His final political activity was as chair of the
    6.25
    4 votes
    7

    Angelo Joseph Rossi

    Angelo Joseph Rossi (January 22, 1878 – April 5, 1948) was a U.S. political figure who served as the 31st mayor of San Francisco. He was the first mayor of 100% Italian descent of a major U.S city (top 10 most populous U.S. cities between 1776 and 1931). Rossi was born in Volcano, Amador County, California, and came to San Francisco in 1890 with his widowed mother and six siblings after the family home and general store burned to the ground in minutes. (His father, also named Angelo, left Italy in 1849 at the age of 16 aboard a ship loaded with marble that departed from Genoa. When he arrived in Amador County, he mined for gold and opened his general store.) When Angelo arrived in San Francisco with his family in 1890, he attended school but left after 6th grade to work in jobs that ranged from cash boy to a clerk in a couple of different florist shops, including Carbone and Sons and Pelicano and Sons, which became Pelicano and Rossi when he became a partner in the early 1900s. Eventually he opened his own company, Angelo J. Rossi, Inc., and during his tenure in office the florist company continued to operate in a sparkling Art Deco-motif building Angelo owned at 45 Grant
    7.33
    3 votes
    8

    George Christopher

    George Christopher (December 8, 1907 – September 14, 2000) was a Greek-American politician, and the 34th Mayor of San Francisco, serving in that office from January 1956 until January 1964. He was, as of 2012, the last Republican to be elected mayor of San Francisco; all San Francisco mayors since he left office have been Democrats. Born George Christophes in Arcadia, Greece, the son of James Christophes and Mary Koines Christophes, Christopher and his family emigrated to the United States in 1910 and settled in San Francisco's South of Market Street neighborhood, then known as "Greektown", when Christopher was two years old. Christopher left day school at the age of fourteen when his father James died, and he became sole support of his family. He sold papers, then talked his way into a job at the San Francisco Examiner as a copy boy. In 1935, he married Tula Sarantitis, daughter of a baker whom George did bookkeeping for. After studying accounting at Golden Gate College from which he earned a BA in Accounting in 1930, he worked for numerous small firms keeping their accounts and eventually bought out a small dairy on Fillmore Street, which became the Christopher Dairy. He was
    7.33
    3 votes
    9

    James Otis

    James Otis (August 11, 1826–October 30, 1875) was a politician from San Francisco. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts to the Otis family, which is counted among the Boston Brahmin families. He moved to San Francisco, California for the 1849 California Gold Rush. He then became an importer and exporter in San Francisco. He then became a member of the Board of Supervisors in 1859 and served until 1862. Otis was then elected Mayor of San Francisco in 1873 and was sworn in on December 1, 1873. He died of diphtheria in San Francisco on October 30, 1875 while still serving his term as mayor. He was the only mayor to die in office until George Moscone's assassination in 1978.
    9.50
    2 votes
    10

    Elmer Robinson

    Elmer Edwin Robinson (October 3, 1894 – June 9, 1982) was the 33rd mayor of San Francisco, California. A Republican, he served as San Francisco's mayor from January 1948 until January 1956. Robinson was born in the Richmond District of San Francisco, but primarily grew up in the northern California town of Fort Bragg. He moved back to San Francisco to attend night law school, after which he was admitted to the bar in 1915. He served as a deputy district attorney of San Francisco County, 1915 to 1921. He worked for 15 years, as a civil and criminal attorney in private practice. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Robinson to direct adjustment of claims of World War I veterans, at the request of the Disabled American Veterans. In January 1935, he became a Municipal Court judge, nine months later a Superior Court judge. Elected to two six year terms on the San Francisco County Superior bench, 1936 and 1942. During World War II, Judge Robinson served as California State Chairman of a national salvage committee. Elmer Robinson was elected mayor of San Francisco in November 1947, taking office the following January. He was reelected to another four-year term as mayor in
    5.50
    4 votes
    11

    Charles Boxton

    Charles Boxton (April 24, 1860 Shasta County, California – August 29, 1927 San Mateo, California) served as the 27th mayor of San Francisco from July 9 to July 16, 1907. He attended the San Francisco public schools and then entered a dental apprenticeship. Afterwards he entered the University of California, where he earned a D.D.S. degree, and then entered private practice in San Francisco. He soon left his dental practice to fight in the Philippine–American War. After returning home, he entered politics and was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1899. He also became dean of the Dental Department at the College of Physicians and Surgeons. After the corruption trial of mayor Eugene Schmitz, the Board of Supervisors chose him to serve out Schmitz's remaining term. However, during the trial, it was revealed that Boxton had taken bribes and he was forced to resign after only a week in office. He then resumed his dentistry practice.
    7.00
    3 votes
    12
    James D. Phelan

    James D. Phelan

    James Duval Phelan (April 20, 1861 – August 7, 1930) was an American politician, civic leader and banker. He represented California in the United States Senate from 1915 to 1921. Phelan was born in San Francisco, the son of an Irish immigrant who became wealthy during the California Gold Rush as a trader, merchant and banker. He graduated from St. Ignatius College in 1881. He studied law at the University of California, Berkeley and then became a banker. He was elected Mayor of San Francisco and served from 1897 until 1902. He pushed for the reform City Charter of 1898 in San Francisco. He served as the first president of the League of California Cities, which was created in 1898. In the 1900s, Phelan bought land and water acreage in various places around the San Francisco Bay Area, and he obtained the rights to the water flow of the Tuolumne River in Hetch Hetchy Valley. Ethan A. Hitchcock, Secretary of the Interior under President Theodore Roosevelt, tried to stop Phelan, but Roosevelt decided that the wild area could be used for "the permanent material development of the region." Phelan's plans for the region included publicly-funded water and electricity for a geographical
    7.00
    3 votes
    13

    James Rolph

    James “Sunny Jim” Rolph, Jr. (August 23, 1869 – June 2, 1934) was an American politician and a member of the Republican Party. He was elected to a single term as the 27th governor of California from January 6, 1931 until his death on June 2, 1934 at the height of the Great Depression. Previously, Rolph had been the 30th mayor of San Francisco from January 8, 1912 until his resignation to become governor. Rolph remains the longest serving mayor in San Francisco history. James Rolph was born in San Francisco on August 23, 1869. He had one younger brother. After attending school in the Mission District, he went to work as an office boy in a commission house. He married Annie Marshall Reid (1872-1956) and had at least one son: James Rolph, III (1904-1980). He entered the shipping business in 1900, by forming a partnership with George Hind. He would over the next decade, serve as president of two banks, one of which he helped establish. Although he was asked to run for mayor in 1909, he chose to wait until 1911 to run for mayor – a position that he would hold for nineteen years. As mayor, he was known as "Sunny Jim" and his theme song was "There Are Smiles That Make You Happy". In 1915
    5.25
    4 votes
    14

    Roger Lapham

    Roger Dearborn Lapham (December 6, 1883 – April 16, 1966) was a shipowner and businessman who served as the 32nd mayor of San Francisco from 1944 to 1948. Lapham was born in New York City, the son of Antoinette N. (née Dearborn) and businessman Lewis Henry Lapham. He was educated at Harvard, a member of the Pacific Union Club and president of the American-Hawaiian Steamship Company beginning in 1925. Lapham championed the employers' position in the 1936 waterfront strike and was elevated as a "business" Mayor by a member of the Police Commission, J. Ward Maillard, after collapse of the Angelo Rossi constituency. Upon taking the mayor's seat, Lapham declared his intention to serve only one term. According to Radebaugh, Lapham was "so convinced of the employers' cause that he took on Harry Bridges, leader of the striking (C.I.O.) Congress of Industrial Organizations longshoremen, in public debate." During World War II, Lapham was the industry representative on the National War Labor Board, but resigned to run for mayor of San Francisco. Lapham presided over the formation of one of San Francisco's perennial Charter Review Commissions and the consolidation of the private street railway
    6.67
    3 votes
    15

    Frank McCoppin

    Frank McCoppin (July 4, 1834, County Longford, Ireland – May 26, 1897, San Francisco, California) was the first Irish-born Mayor of San Francisco. He was married in 1862 to Elizabeth Bird Van Ness in San Francisco, thereby becoming the son-in-law of former mayor James Van Ness. McCoppin was a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary from 1851 until he emigrated to the United States in 1853. In 1860, he was made supervisor of the Market Street Railway, where he encouraged planting among the railroad tracks, to lessen the problem of drifting sands. Shortly thereafter, he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He then was elected mayor in 1867, serving from December 2, 1867 to December 5, 1869. He and the Board of Supervisors approved the plan for Golden Gate Park January 14, 1868. However, questions regarding his citizenship (word had leaked that he was not a naturalized U.S. citizen when he was supervisor or that he applied for citizenship during his term) led to his defeat in the 1869 election. In 1886, he ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives, but lost to William W. Morrow. He later served two terms in the California State Senate. In 1894,
    8.50
    2 votes
    16

    Henry F. Teschemacher

    Henry Frederick Teschemacher (February 16, 1823 – November 26, 1904) served as the tenth mayor of San Francisco from October 3, 1859 to June 30, 1863. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts and worked for a Boston shipping house around the 1840s. The firm sent him to San Francisco, California in 1846, where he traded goods for furs, tallow, and hides. With the start of the Gold Rush six years later, he bought a great deal of real estate in what later became San Francisco. He also sketched a drawing of the village of which he would become mayor, called View of Place of Anchorage of Yerba Buena. Teschemacher soon joined the Vigilance Movement, serving in the vigilante-led trials of suspected criminals. Through his work with the vigilantes, he became known as a person who stood for law and order and was the choice of the People's Party for mayor in the 1859 election. He managed to win, due to divisions in the Democratic ranks over slavery. His first months in office were relatively calm. He kept tabs on city spending and made few public appearances, save to dedicate the city's first streetcar line. He also doubled the size of his police force. During his time as mayor, the American
    8.50
    2 votes
    17

    John Shelley

    John Francis "Jack" Shelley (September 3, 1905 – September 1, 1974) was a U.S. politician. He served as the 35th mayor of San Francisco, from 1964 to 1968, the first Democrat elected to the office in 50 years, and the first in an unbroken line of Democratic mayors that lasts to the present (as of 2012). Shelley earned a law degree from the University of San Francisco in 1932. He served in the United States Coast Guard during World War II and was a member of the California State Senate from 1938 to 1946. He ran an unsuccessful race for the Lieutenant Governor's office against Goodwin Knight in 1946. Shelley would then make his mark as a leader of the California delegation to the 1948 Democratic National Convention, when he would help marshal his state's votes to support a strong civil rights plank. Shelley entered the United States House of Representatives in 1949 and served until 1964, when he ran for mayor of San Francisco and won by a 12-point margin against his opponent, Harold Dobbs. Prior to his election as U.S. Congressman, Jack Shelley was included in the FBI's Custodial Detention (DETCOM) files. The FBI's "Detcom program" "was concerned with the individuals 'to be given
    6.00
    3 votes
    18
    George Moscone

    George Moscone

    George Richard Moscone ( /mɒsˈkoʊni/; November 24, 1929 – November 27, 1978) was an American attorney and Democratic politician. He was the 37th mayor of San Francisco, California, US from January 1976 until his assassination in November 1978. Moscone served in the California State Senate from 1967 until becoming Mayor. In the Senate, he served as Majority Leader. Moscone was born in San Francisco, California. His father was George Joseph Moscone, a prison guard, and his mother, Lena, was a homemaker. Moscone attended St. Brigid's, and then St. Ignatius College Preparatory, where he was an all-city basketball star. He then attended University of the Pacific. While in college, Moscone befriended John L. Burton, who would later become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Moscone then studied at University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where he received his law degree. He met and married Gina Bondanza, in 1954. The Moscones would go on to have four children. After serving in the United States Navy, Moscone started private practice in 1956. John Burton's brother, Phillip, a member of the California State Assembly, recruited Moscone to run for an Assembly seat in
    7.50
    2 votes
    19

    George J. Whelan

    George J. Whelan (birth and death dates unknown) served as the eighth Mayor of San Francisco in from July 8 to November 15, 1856. He had been a lawyer and before serving as mayor. He actually was chosen mayor by justices of the peace who were acting as the County Board of Supervisors. His brief term was marred by the vigilance movement, Chinese immigration issues, collecting back taxes from the city's most prominent citizens of the day, and uncooperative elected officials. His last act as mayor was to give a farewell address in which members of the soon-to-be-inaugurated Burr administration refused to attend. During his term, the San Francisco City and County governments merged into one unit. He would later return to practicing law. Whelan was the least-documented person ever to hold the office. No photographs or drawings of him are known to exist today. His name does not appear in any San Francisco city directories after 1860. For many years afterwards, many official listings of San Francisco officeholders refused to even acknowledge him as a former mayor. For example, the 1862–1863 volume of San Francisco's Municipal Reports list James Van Ness' successor as E.W. Burr – with an
    5.67
    3 votes
    20
    Adolph Sutro

    Adolph Sutro

    Adolph Heinrich Joseph Sutro (April 29, 1830 – August 8, 1898) was the 24th mayor of San Francisco, and first Jewish mayor, serving in that office from 1894 until 1896. He is today perhaps best remembered for the various San Francisco lands and landmarks that still bear his name. Born in Aachen, Rhine Province, Prussia (today North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany), Sutro, educated as an engineer, at the age of twenty arrived in the United States and in 1850, he introduced himself to William Ralston of the Bank of California and introduced his plans for de-watering and de-gassing the mine shafts of the Comstock Lode by driving a tunnel through Mount Davidson to drain the water. Sutro incorporated the Sutro Tunnel company and raised US$3 million, a considerable fortune through this work in Nevada. He included the miners in his scheme, and planned to sail to Europe to negotiate with the Parisian Bank, but the Franco-Prussian War commenced in the middle of July 1870. Sutro was stymied, but out of the blue came an offer from a London bank led by a banker named McClamont, who offered $650,000 in gold per year for the Comstock. According to Dickson, "... Sutro set off blasts of dynamite, ...
    4.25
    4 votes
    21
    Dianne Feinstein

    Dianne Feinstein

    Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein ( /ˈfaɪnstaɪn/; born June 22, 1933) is the senior United States Senator from California. A member of the Democratic Party, she has served in the Senate since 1992. She also served as 38th Mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988. Born in San Francisco, Feinstein graduated from Stanford University. In the 1960s she worked in city government, and in 1970 she was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. She served as the board's first female president in 1978, during which time the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk drew national attention to the city. Feinstein, who was the first to discover the shootings, succeeded Moscone as mayor. During her tenure as San Francisco's first female mayor she took a politically moderate stance, leading a revamp of the city's cable car system and overseeing the 1984 Democratic National Convention. After a failed gubernatorial campaign in 1990, she won a 1992 special election to the U.S. Senate. Feinstein was first elected on the same ballot as her peer Barbara Boxer, and the two became California's first female U.S. Senators. Feinstein formerly chaired the Senate Rules
    7.00
    2 votes
    22
    James Van Ness

    James Van Ness

    James Van Ness (1808 Burlington, Vermont – December 28, 1872) was the seventh mayor of San Francisco, USA from 1855 to 1856. He was the son of Dutch-American Vermont Governor Cornelius Van Ness and father-in-law of future San Francisco mayor Frank McCoppin. Prior to being mayor, he had been a lawyer in the U.S. South and then a San Francisco city alderman. As alderman, he sponsored the "Van Ness Ordinance", which ordered all land within the city limits that was undeveloped at that time (that is, west of Larkin Street and southwest of Ninth Street) to be surveyed and then to be transferred to their original deedholders. Because there were many fraudulent deed holders at that time, this law led to many lawsuits for many years. Van Ness was elected mayor as a Democrat in 1855. However, his administration proved ineffectual in the face of three major crises that arose. First, his election was called into question following allegations of irregularities in the outcome. Then, On November 18, 1855, Charles Cora fatally shot U.S. Marshal William H. Richardson. Cora sought the safety of the sheriff at the city jail and Van Ness pleaded with the mob that had surrounded the jail to disperse.
    7.00
    2 votes
    23

    Thomas Henry Selby

    Thomas Henry Selby (May 14, 1820 – June 17, 1875) was the 13th Mayor of San Francisco serving from December 6, 1869 to December 3, 1871. Thomas Henry Selby was born on May 14, 1820 in New York, NY. When he was 29 years old, Selby went to California for the California Gold Rush. He moved to San Francisco, California and became a merchant in the city. Selby built the Selby Shot Tower in San Francisco and founded the Selby Smelting Works. He was then elected mayor and served from December 6, 1869 to December 3, 1871. He died in San Francisco on June 17, 1875 of pneumonia. He is buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland. Selby's daughter, Jeanie, married Faxon Dean Atherton Jr., a son of Atherton namesake Faxon Dean Atherton. His daughter Clair married Andrew Jackson Ralston, brother of William Chapman Ralston. His son, Prentiss, married Nattie Cofin of the Nantucket Cofins.
    5.33
    3 votes
    24

    Frank Jordan

    Francis M. “Frank” Jordan (born February 20, 1935) is a U.S. politician, foundation executive, and former police chief. Jordan was born in San Francisco in 1935 and graduated from Sacred Heart High School in 1953. He studied political science and government at the University of San Francisco during his time of the police force and graduated in 1975. He served as the Mayor of San Francisco, California from 1992, succeeding Art Agnos, until January, 1996, after being defeated by former California State Assembly Speaker Willie Brown in the November, 1995 mayoral election. He continued Agnos' campaign against the city's chapter of Food Not Bombs and introduced a controversial program called Matrix which aimed to deal with the city's homelessness problems. During his mayoral tenure Jordan played a role in converting the Presidio Army Base into part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, bringing Bay Area Rapid Transit to the San Francisco International Airport, keeping the San Francisco Giants in the city and balancing the city's budget. Jordan was challenged for mayor in the 1995 mayoral election by Brown, who was termed out of the State Assembly. Brown, considered by many to be
    9.00
    1 votes
    25
    Washington Bartlett

    Washington Bartlett

    Washington Montgomery Bartlett (February 29, 1824 – September 12, 1887) was the 20th mayor of San Francisco, California from 1883 to 1887, the 16th governor of California, and–to date–the only one that was Jewish. Bartlett was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1824, the son of Sarah E. Melhado and Cosam Emir Bartlett. His mother was Sephardic. He was a lifelong bachelor and a printer by trade, and was not particularly religious. During his lifetime Bartlett was a San Francisco newspaper publisher, San Francisco County Clerk, lawyer, state senator, mayor, and finally a governor. Bartlett's term as governor started and ended in 1887 when he died in office of Bright's disease nine months into his term. His inaugural address after being elected as governor was presented on 8 January 1887. Bartlett is buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California.
    9.00
    1 votes
    26

    Andrew Jackson Bryant

    Andrew Jackson Bryant, known as A.J. Bryant, (1823–1888) was the seventeenth mayor of San Francisco, California, serving from December 1875 to December 1879 during a lengthy economic depression that struck San Francisco and the rest of the country. Bryant was a strong advocate for an eight-hour work day as well as legislation to halt the immigration of Chinese laborers into the state. A prominent insurance man and a sportsman, he drowned in the San Francisco Bay after falling from a ferryboat. Bryant was born in Effingham, New Hampshire on October 30, 1831, according to his obituary. As a young man, he sailed around the tip of South America to San Francisco, where he arrived in 1850 and went directly to the Gold Country of California. After a "year's hard work," however, he returned to San Francisco "for medical treatment," and then went to Benicia, California, where in 1854–55 was the city marshal and in 1856 he was a deputy sheriff. In 1856 the California Legislature met in Benicia, and when it disbanded, Bryant moved to Sacramento, the new state capital, where he opened a general merchandising business with George W. Chesley and George L. Bradley, which lasted four years. He
    6.00
    2 votes
    27
    Henry Perrin Coon

    Henry Perrin Coon

    Henry Perrin Coon (September 30, 1822 – December 4, 1884) was the 11th Mayor of San Francisco who served from July 1, 1863 to December 1, 1867. He was one of the most versatile men ever to hold the office, having previously worked as a teacher, doctor, lawyer, druggist and businessman. Coon was born on September 30, 1822 in Columbia County, New York, the youngest of 13 children, and was raised in the Presbyterian church. His parents sent him to Claverack Academy, near Hudson, New York, where he spent two or three years. He then attended Williams College where he graduated with the class of 1844. After college, he was the superintendent of Claverack Academy for a short time before beginning studies for the ministry. After about a year, his biography records that a severe cold settled into his throat that spoiled his voice for public speaking, which he ultimately regained in California's milder climate. At that point, he selected medicine as his profession. After receiving his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Medicine in 1848, he returned to Hudson, New York where he married Ruthetta Folger on September 18, 1849. He then established a medical practice in Syracuse, New
    6.00
    2 votes
    28

    Stephen Randall Harris

    Stephen Randall Harris (1802–1879) was the third mayor of San Francisco from January 1 – October 2, 1852. He was born in Poughkeepsie, New York. After his father was killed in the War of 1812, he went to live with relatives. He was then apprenticed to a surgeon and entered New York's College of Physicians and Surgeons. After graduating in 1826, he began his own practice in New York City, where he lived until 1849. During this time, he earned a good reputation within the medical community there, enabling him to be health commissioner of New York, the surgeon for the Ninth Military Regiment, and as the surgeon for the New York alms house. He later worked without pay for many hundreds hours, fighting the cholera epidemic of 1832–1834. He also got his first taste of political life while in private practice. After moving to California in 1849, he went to the gold mines to pan gold. After panning enough gold to earn money to open a drug store, he moved to San Francisco. He also become involved in poliitics, first being elected as city alderman, and then to the common council (the city council as it was then known). Dr. Harris fell on hard times, however, when his drugstore was destroyed
    4.33
    3 votes
    29

    Levi Richard Ellert

    Levi Richard Ellert (October 20, 1857 – July 21, 1901) served as 23rd mayor of San Francisco from 1893 to 1895. He was the first San Francisco native to serve in that office. No previous San Francisco mayors had even been born in California. Before entering politics, he had established his own pharmacy in 1883. After unsuccessfully running for School Director, he was elected Supervisor as a Republican in 1888, and was reelected in 1890. He was elected mayor in 1892, and during his term, he passed the bar exam and was admitted to the California bar. He also "appeared before the Supreme Court." After his term he would serve as director of various private companies and as general manager and the president of the Sanitary Reduction Works. He died in 1901 in San Francisco. Hanson, Gladys. San Francisco Almanac. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 1995. (ISBN 0-8118-0841-6)
    5.50
    2 votes
    30

    George Henry Sanderson

    George Henry Sanderson (1824 – 1 February 1893) was a notable politician of the United States Republican Party. Sanderson was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and traveled to San Francisco during the 1849 Gold Rush in California. He served as the 22nd Mayor of San Francisco from January 5, 1891 to January 3, 1893. Mayor Sanderson died of pneumonia on February 1, 1893.
    5.00
    2 votes
    31
    Edward Robeson Taylor

    Edward Robeson Taylor

    Edward Robeson Taylor (September 24, 1838 – July 5, 1923) was the 28th Mayor of San Francisco serving from July 16, 1907 to January 7, 1910. Edward Robeson Taylor was born on September 24, 1838 in Springfield, Illinois, the only son of Henry West Taylor and the former Mary Thaw of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (he was descended on his mother's side from the early colonial merchant, Andrew Robeson, of Philadelphia.) He was a lawyer and a poet in California before he became mayor, publishing an 1898 book of sonnets based on the paintings of William Keith. Taylor was appointed mayor due to the resignation of Charles Boxton, after his eight-day term. When he was sworn in, he became the oldest mayor of San Francisco to be sworn in at 68 years old and still currently holds the record today. He died in San Francisco on July 5, 1923.
    6.00
    1 votes
    32

    Ephraim Willard Burr

    Ephraim Willard Burr (1809–1894) was a businessman who served as the ninth mayor of San Francisco, California from 1856 to 1859. Burr was born on March 7, 1809 in Rhode Island. As a young man, he worked for a whaling company which sent him west. After losing his crew while docked in San Francisco—many sailors were lured away by the prospect of finding gold during the Gold Rush—Burr stayed put and opened a grocery store. His family moved to California to be with him. The venture proved so successful that he opened California's first savings union, the San Francisco Accumulating Fund Association. He entered politics in 1855 when he petitioned the common council to curb open-stream pollution caused by local slaugherhouses. Burr stated that the pollution caused cholera to enter the streams, causing three deaths—including that of his son. Burr was soon noticed by the Vigilante movement, who recommended him as the People's Party candidate for mayor. He was elected mayor on November 4, 1856 and took office on November 15 of that year. Burr entered office under a new city charter that significantly weakened his powers; however, this did not stop him from cutting city spending (including
    6.00
    1 votes
    33
    John W. Geary

    John W. Geary

    John White Geary (December 30, 1819 – February 8, 1873) was an American lawyer, politician, Freemason, and a Union general in the American Civil War. He was the final alcalde and first mayor of San Francisco, a governor of the Kansas Territory, and the 16th governor of Pennsylvania. Geary was born near Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, in Westmoreland County—in what is today the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. He was the son of Richard Geary, an ironmaster and schoolmaster, and Margaret White, a native of Maryland. Starting at the age of 14, he attended nearby Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, studying civil engineering and law, but was forced to leave before graduation due to the death of his father, whose debts he assumed. He worked at a variety of jobs, including as a surveyor and land speculator in Kentucky, earning enough to return to college and graduate in 1841. He worked as a construction engineer for the Allegheny Portage Railroad. In 1843, he married Margaret Ann Logan, with whom he had several sons, but she died in 1853. Geary then married the widowed Mary Church Henderson in 1858 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Geary was active in the state militia as a teenager and
    4.50
    2 votes
    34

    Maurice Carey Blake

    Maurice Carey Blake (October 20, 1815 – September 26, 1897) was the 19th Mayor of San Francisco, serving from December 5, 1881 to January 7, 1883. Maurice C. Blake was born on October 20, 1815 in Otisville, Maine. He became a lawyer in California and practiced law there. In 1857, he became a member of the California State Assembly and served until 1858. After this he became the Mayor of San Francisco and served for only two years. Just one year after leaving office, he became a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1884. Maurice C. Blake died of a heart attack in San Francisco on September 26, 1897. He is interred at Mount Tamalpais Cemetery in San Rafael, California.
    5.00
    1 votes
    35

    William Alvord

    William Alvord (January 3, 1833 – December 21, 1904) was a San Francisco merchant, banker and political leader. He was the 14th Mayor of San Francisco from 1871 to 1873 and served as president of the Bank of California from 1878 until his death. Alvord was born on January 3, 1833 in Albany, NY, the son of William and Mary Elizabeth Alvord. He was educated at Albany Academy. He moved to New York City in 1850 and engaged in the hardware trade. In 1853 he went to California and established his business at Marysville, later moving to San Francisco. In San Francisco he established a wholesale hardware importing business, later forming a partnership with Richard Patrick. Alvord built up an extensive trade, but close application to business wore down his health. He finally sold his share to Patrick and went to Europe to recover his health. Upon his return in 1871 he was nominated for Mayor of San Francisco on the Republican ticket. Alvord was elected by a handsome margin, serving from December 4, 1871 to November 30, 1873. A portrait of Alvord by Benoni Irwin, circa 1872, is in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Alvord later went east to purchase machinery for the
    5.00
    1 votes
    36

    Arthur Christ Agnos

    Arthur (Art) Christ Agnos (born September 1, 1938) is an American politician. He served as the 39th mayor of San Francisco, California from 1988 to 1992, and the Regional Head of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1993–2001. Agnos was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bates College and a Master of Social Work from Florida State University. He moved to San Francisco in 1966 and went to work at the San Francisco Housing Authority as a social worker with senior populations. At that time, San Francisco’s senior housing was being built as high-rises that many believed left seniors disconnected from the community. Agnos learned through his involvement in challenging this policy that political decisions can shape the environment for poor and vulnerable people. On December 13, 1973, Agnos, who was then a member of the California Commission on Aging, was attending a meeting in the largely black public housing project on Potrero Hill in San Francisco to discuss building a government-funded health clinic in the area. After the meeting broke up, he was shot twice at point blank range by a black man; Agnos became one of two
    0.00
    0 votes
    37

    Cornelius Kingsland Garrison

    Cornelius Kingsland Garrison (March 1, 1809 – May 1, 1885) was a shipbuilder, capitalist, and the fifth Mayor of San Francisco (1853–1854). He was born in Fort Montgomery, near West Point, New York. During his childhood, he studied architecture and civil engineering while working on his father's schooner. After moving to Buffalo in 1830, he worked as a builder, then moving to Canada in 1834 where he built bridges and other marine building projects. He moved to St. Louis in 1839, where he made a fortune from owning, building, and commanding boats. He later moved to Panama, where he worked as an agent for the Nicaraguan steamship company and also established the banking firm of Garrison, Fritz, and Ralston. The business partnership of Morgan & Garrison, which Garrison formed with Charles Morgan, was once the recipient of a brief and now very famous letter: "Gentlemen: You have undertaken to cheat me. I won't sue you, for the law is too slow. I'll ruin you. Yours truly, Cornelius Vanderbilt." After he moved to San Francisco, he was elected mayor of that city in 1853. While he was mayor, he started the movement that led to the founding of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company. After his
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    0 votes
    38

    Edward B. Pond

    Edward B. Pond (September 7, 1833 – April 22, 1910) was a Democratic politician from California. He was the 21st Mayor of San Francisco from 1887 to 1891. In 1890, he ran for Governor of California. At the California Democratic State Convention, San Francisco Boss Christopher Buckley backed Mayor Pond. Edward B. Pond defeated William D. English of Oakland for the nomination. In the general election, Edward Pond lost to Republican, Henry Markham. The SF Public Library has a picture of him and his house.
    0.00
    0 votes
    39
    Gavin Newsom

    Gavin Newsom

    Gavin Christopher Newsom (born October 10, 1967) is an American politician who is the 49th and current Lieutenant Governor of California. Previously, he was the 42nd Mayor of San Francisco and was elected in 2003 to succeed Willie Brown, becoming San Francisco's youngest mayor in 100 years. Newsom was re-elected in 2007 with 72 percent of the vote. In 2010, Samepoint released a study that measured the social media influence of mayors around the country and ranked the top 100 most social mayors. Newsom was named the Most Social Mayor in America according to the Samepoint study. Newsom graduated from Redwood High School in Larkspur, California, in 1985, and in 1989 from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. His PlumpJack Wine Shop, founded in 1992, grew into a multimillion-dollar enterprise, and now includes bars, restaurants, and a Lake Tahoe hotel called Squaw Valley Inn. He was first appointed by Willie Brown to serve on San Francisco's Parking and Traffic Commission in 1996 and was appointed the following year as Supervisor. Newsom drew voter attention with his Care Not Cash program, designed to move homeless people into city assisted care.
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    0 votes
    40
    Joseph Alioto

    Joseph Alioto

    Joseph Lawrence Alioto (February 12, 1916 – January 29, 1998) was the 36th mayor of San Francisco, California, from 1968 to 1976. Alioto was born in San Francisco in 1916. His father was a Sicilian immigrant who owned and operated several fish processing companies. His mother, Domenica Mae Lazio, was born in San Francisco in 1893. His parents met on a fishing boat while escaping the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. He attended Saint Ignatius College Prep. Alioto graduated with honors from St. Mary's College in Moraga, California in 1937 and from law school at The Catholic University of America with honors, in Washington, D.C. in 1940. Alioto worked for the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department and then for the Board of Economic Warfare. He returned to San Francisco after World War II and started an antitrust practice, representing Walt Disney and Samuel Goldwyn, among others, eventually becoming a millionaire. He argued the Radovich v. National Football League case before the Supreme Court, convincing the justices that professional football, unlike baseball, was subject to antitrust laws. In 1993, he represented his father-in-law Billy Sullivan in his lawsuit against the NFL.
    0.00
    0 votes
    41

    P. H. McCarthy

    Patrick Henry McCarthy (March 17, 1863 – July 1, 1933), generally known as P.H. McCarthy and sometimes, more jocularly, as "Pinhead", was an influential labor leader in San Francisco and the 29th Mayor of the City from 1910 to 1912. Born in County Limerick, Ireland, he apprenticed as a carpenter in Ireland before coming to the United States in 1880. He moved to San Francisco in 1886, where he rose through the ranks to become president of Carpenters Local 22, then President of the Building Trades Council in 1896. The San Francisco Building Trades Council was one of the most powerful local labor bodies within the American Federation of Labor at the time. It fought off the efforts of employers in San Francisco to impose the open shop on construction workers in the first decade of the twentieth century and was active in local politics. It also feuded with the San Francisco Labor Council, the body that claimed to represent all of organized labor in San Francisco. The BTC barred its members from belonging to the SFLC and often refused to support SFLC activities; it did not support the Teamsters and longshore workers in the City Front Federation strike of 1901, preferring to maintain its
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