Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Thomas J. D'Alesandro, Jr. (1903-1987)
MSA SC 3520-2004


Born in Baltimore, Maryland, August 1, 1903.  Son of Thomas and Mary Annie (Foppiano) D'Alesandro.  Attended St. Leo's Parochial School; Calvert Business College, Baltimore.  Married Annunciata "Nancy" M. Lombardi on September 30, 1928; six children: Thomas J. III, Franklin, Nicholas, Hector, Joseph, and Nancy.  Resided at 245 Albemarle Street in Baltimore's "Little Italy."  Attended St. Leo's Roman Catholic Church.  Died at Mercy Hospital, Baltimore, on August 23, 1987. Buried at New Cathedral Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland.

Thomas J. D'Alesandro, Jr. was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1926 to 1933.  He was a general deputy collector of internal revenue in 1933 and 1934 and a member of the Baltimore City Council from 1935 to 1938.  From 1944 to 1968 he was a delegate to each Democratic National Convention.  A Democrat, he was elected a U.S. Representative from Maryland in 1938 and served from January 3, 1939 until his resignation on May 16, 1947.  He was a three-term mayor of Baltimore and served from May 1947 to May 1959 when he was defeated for renomination in the March primary election by J. Harold Grady.  Some of the highlights of his mayoral term were the opening of Friendship Airport (now Baltimore-Washington International Airport) and the return of the Baltimore Orioles to major league baseball in 1954.  As mayor he was a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and was chair of its standing committee on legislation.  He was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate in 1958.  President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the Federal Renegotiation Board, where he served from 1961 to 1969.  He was also an insurance and real estate broker.  He was a member of the Holy Name Society of St. Leo's Confraternity, the Knights of Columbus, Elks, Eagles, Moose, Hickory Club, and the Democratic Club of Baltimore.  His son, Thomas J. D'Alesandro, III, followed in his father's footsteps to become mayor of Baltimore from 1967 to 1971.  Shortly before his death in August, 1987, Thomas J. D'Alesandro, Jr. had the pleasure of attending the swearing-in ceremony in Washington, D.C. for his daughter, Nancy Pelosi, a congresswoman from California. She later became the first woman to serve as the Speaker of the House.

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