FIORELLO H. LA GUARDIA was a maverick politician who was instrumental in bringing about a series of reforms during 12 years as mayor of New York City, and whose popularity sparked New York's unusual multiparty political system. Fiorello Raffaele Enrico La Guardia was born at 7 Varick Place near Manhattan's Washington Square, the second of three children of Achille La Guardia and Irene Luzzato (Coen) La Guardia. Achille, a musician, was unable to find work in the depressed early 1880s and enlisted in the U.S. Army. The family relocated to Dakota Territory (now North Dakota) in 1885. La Guardia spent his formative years in Prescott, Arizona Territory, and always regarded it as his hometown. Although neither parent was active in their respective religions, they sent ...

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