New York’s 99th Mayor: Fiorello LaGuardia aka Little Flower

The Little Flower who Fought for Big Justice

December 11, 1882

Happy birthday to the American attorney and politician known as Little Flower, aka Fiorello LaGuardia, born on Sullivan Street in Greenwich Village.

LaGuardia was called Little Flower during his lifetime because Fiorello means little flower in Italian. In addition, Fiorello is generally regarded as a name for Italian girls.

The Little Flower reference could have been construed as a slight for LaGuardia’s short stature (he was only 5’2”). But it ultimately became an ironic endearment as LaGuardia had a larger-than-life, take-charge personality.

Little Flower was the first Italian-American citizen to serve in the United States Congress and the first Italian mayor of New York City. Little Flower became the 99th Mayor of New York City and served for twelve years from 1934 to 1946. 

Little Flower is remembered for his desire for justice and fairness. He was a champion of the working class and immigrants.

Fiorello LaGuardia, Little Flower, died at age 64.

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Fiorello LaGuardia
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