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Mayor of Boston

City Seal
The first Mayor of Boston
The former Mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino.

The Mayor of Boston is the head of the municipal government in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston has a mayor-council system of government. The Mayor’s Office is in Boston City Hall, in Government Center. There was no Mayor of Boston until 1822 because up to that point Boston was still incorporated as a town. (In Massachusetts, a town is typically governed by a town meeting.) The current mayor is Martin J. "Marty" Walsh.

Since 1952, the mayoral term has been four years.[1] There are no term limits.

Boston mayoral elections, like all municipal elections in Boston, are nonpartisan. The two candidates with the highest number of votes in the preliminary election run against each other on the general election ballot. However, every mayor since 1930, and all but one mayor since 1902, has been known to be a Democrat.


  • List of mayors 1
  • Living former mayors 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

List of mayors

"A" denotes an acting mayor:
# Mayor Picture Term Party Notes
1st John Phillips May 1, 1822 – May 1, 1823 Federalist
2nd Josiah Quincy III May 1, 1823 – January 5, 1829 Federalist
3rd Harrison Gray Otis January 5, 1829 – January 2, 1832 Federalist
4th Charles Wells January 2, 1832 – January 6, 1834 Whig
5th Theodore Lyman January 6, 1834 – January 4, 1836 Democratic and Workingmen parties[2]
6th Samuel T. Armstrong January 4, 1836 – January 1, 1837 Whig
7th Samuel A. Eliot January 1, 1837 – January 6, 1840 Whig
8th Jonathan Chapman January 6, 1840 – January 2, 1843 Whig
9th Martin Brimmer January 2, 1843 – January 6, 1845 Whig
A William Parker January 6, 1845 – February 27, 1845 Whig[3] From the close of Mayor Brimmer's term on January 6, 1845 until his successor Thomas Aspinwall Davis assumed office on February 27, 1845, William Parker, Chairman of the Board of Aldermen, performed the duties of mayor. Parker ran for mayor but lost to Davis in the election held on February 21, 1845.[3]
10th Thomas Aspinwall Davis February 27, 1845 – November 22, 1845 Native American Party[3] Died in office, November 22, 1845
A Benson Leavitt November 22, 1845 – December 11, 1845 Whig Chairman of the Board of Aldermen served as Acting Mayor from November 22, 1845 to December 11, 1845.
11th Josiah Quincy, Jr. December 11, 1845 – January 1, 1849 Whig After he was elected Mayor on December 8, 1845 for the term beginning January 5, 1846, Quincy was appointed by the City Council, on December 11, 1845, to serve out Mayor Davis' term.
12th John P. Bigelow January 1, 1849 – January 5, 1852 Whig
13th Benjamin Seaver January 5, 1852 – January 2, 1854 Whig
14th Jerome V.C. Smith January 2, 1854 – January 7, 1856 Native American Party[4]
15th Alexander H. Rice January 7, 1856 – January 4, 1858 Republican and Citizens
16th Frederic W. Lincoln, Jr. January 4, 1858 – January 7, 1861 Republican and Fanueuil Hall Candidate A Republican, in the 1857 election Lincoln was a so-called Faneuil Hall candidate; he was put forward by a group of citizens who had gathered at Faneuil Hall.[5]
17th Joseph Wightman January 7, 1861[6] January 5, 1863[7] Democratic[7] Two terms
18th Frederic W. Lincoln, Jr. January 5, 1863 – January 7, 1867[7] Republican Second time
19th Otis Norcross January 7, 1867 – January 6, 1868[8] Republican; former "Webster Whig" His time in office was "conducted upon purely business principles, employing the adoption of a 'rigid economy'." [9]
20th Nathaniel B. Shurtleff January 6, 1868 – January 2, 1871[10] Democratic Shurtleff, who had been the defeated Know-Nothing candidate in 1855, was elected mayor in 1867 as a Democrat.
21st William Gaston January 2, 1871 – January 6, 1873 Democratic
22nd Henry L. Pierce January 6, 1873 – November 29, 1873 Non Partisan Normally a Republican, Pierce was elected mayor as an independent non-partisan candidate. Pierce resigned after he was elected to fill the vacancy in the United States House of Representatives caused by the death of William Whiting.
A Leonard R. Cutter November 29, 1873 – January 5, 1874 Democratic Acting Mayor after Pierce resigns to serve in Congress.
24th Samuel C. Cobb January 5, 1874 – January 1, 1877 Non Partisan
25th Frederick O. Prince January 1, 1877 – January 7, 1878 Democratic
26th Henry L. Pierce January 7, 1878 – January 6, 1879 Republican Second time
27th Frederick O. Prince January 6, 1879 – January 2, 1882 Democratic Second time
28th Samuel A. Green January 2, 1882 – January 1, 1883 Republican and Citizens
29th Albert Palmer January 1, 1883 – January 7, 1884 Democratic
30th Augustus P. Martin January 7, 1884 – January 5, 1885 Republican and Citizens
31st Hugh O'Brien January 5, 1885 – January 7, 1889 Democratic First Irish Mayor of Boston
32nd Thomas N. Hart January 7, 1889 – 1890 Republican
33rd Nathan Matthews, Jr. 1891–1894 Democratic
34th Edwin Upton Curtis 1895–1895 Republican
35th Josiah Quincy 1896–1899 Democratic
36th Thomas N. Hart 1900–1902 Republican Second time
37th Patrick Collins 1902–1905 Democratic
A Daniel A. Whelton 1905–1906 Democratic Acting mayor after Collins died in office; First native born Irish Mayor; First native born Catholic Mayor
38th John F. Fitzgerald 1906–1908 Democratic
39th George A. Hibbard 1908–1910 Republican
40th John F. Fitzgerald 1910–1914 Democratic Second time
41st James M. Curley 1914–1918 Democratic
42nd Andrew J. Peters 1918–1922 Democratic
43rd James M. Curley 1922–1926 Democratic Second time
44th Malcolm Nichols 1926–1930 Republican Last Republican elected to date.
45th James M. Curley 1930–1934 Democratic Third time
46th Frederick Mansfield 1934–1938 Democratic
47th Maurice J. Tobin 1938–1945 Democratic
A John E. Kerrigan 1945–1946 Democratic Acting mayor after Tobin elected Governor
48th James M. Curley 1946–1950 Democratic Fourth time; jailed for 5 months during term
A John B. Hynes 1947 Democratic Acting mayor during incarceration of Curley
49th John B. Hynes 1950–1960 Democratic Three terms
50th John F. Collins 1960–1968 Democratic Two terms
51st Kevin H. White 1968–1984 Democratic Four terms
52nd Raymond L. Flynn January 2, 1984 – July 12, 1993 Democratic Elected to three terms but resigned in the second year of his third term to become United States Ambassador to the Holy See.
53rd Thomas M. Menino July 12, 1993 – January 6, 2014 Democratic Five terms; longest-serving mayor to date; as President of the Boston City Council, became acting mayor in July 1993 following Raymond Flynn's appointment as United States Ambassador to the Holy See; elected to his first four-year term in November 1993
54th Martin J. "Marty" Walsh January 6, 2014 – Present Democratic Incumbent; first term

Living former mayors

Currently, there is one living former mayor of Boston, Raymond Flynn. The most recent mayor to die was Tom Menino, on October 30, 2014.

Name Mayoral term Date of birth
Raymond L. Flynn 1984–1993 (1939-07-22) July 22, 1939

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c
  8. ^
  9. ^ In Memoriam: Otis Norcross. 1883, pp. 82 – 83.
  10. ^

External links

  • Lists of Mayors of Boston at The Political Graveyard
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