George Brinton McClellan, Jr

George Brinton McClellan, Jr, mayors of New York City

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George Brinton McClellan, Jr., (November 23, 1865 - November 30, 1940) was an American politician, statesman, and educator. The son of American Civil War general and presidential candidate George B. McClellan, he served as Mayor of New York City from 1904 to 1909.

McClellan, known to his family as "Max", was born in Dresden, Saxony, where his parents were visiting. He went to school in Trenton, New Jersey, where his father was Governor of New Jersey and later Saint John's School in Ossining, New York. From 1885 to 1888 he served in the New York Army National Guard. He received his A.B. at Princeton in 1886 and his A.M. in 1889; and Princeton, Fordham University, and Union College later gave him the honorary degree of LL.D. After leaving school, he engaged in reportorial and editorial work on the New York World and other newspapers. In 1892 he was admitted to the bar. He served for some time as secretary and treasurer of the New York and Brooklyn Bridge. In 1893 he was elected president of the board of aldermen of New York, and for a part of the following year he was acting mayor, although still in his twenties.

His success and popularity enabled him in 1895 to become Congressman (Democratic), a position he held until 1903. In Congress, he was a prominent member of the Ways and Means Committee. Seth Low opposed him in the election for Mayor of New York in 1903. He was re-elected in 1905, but not considered in 1909. At Princeton he delivered the Stafford Little lectures on public affairs (1908-1910), served as university lecturer (1911-1912), and was then appointed professor of economic history.

He is notable in the history of movie censorship for canceling all moving-picture exhibition licenses on Christmas Eve 1908, claiming that the new medium degraded the morals of the community.

One of the more famous stories about him occurred on October 27, 1904. On that day, the Interborough Rapid Transit, New York City's first subway, opened. McClellan was to start the first train at the City Hall Station, and then hand it over to an IRT motorman. However, he was enjoying himself so much, he refused to give up the controls until the train reached 103rd street station.

He died on November 30, 1940 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He never had any children.

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