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    Fiorello La Guardia

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    December 11, 1882 – September 20, 1947

    If you fly into New York City, you have a choice of three airports.

    There's JFK. Serene, important, if unwieldy.

    There's Newark Liberty. Attempts at modernization forever thwarted by its location.

    And then there's La Guardia. In the 1960s, it was voted the world's greatest airport. Today, the less said, the better.

    But at least it keeps Fiorello La Guardia's name in people's minds. The airport's namesake was New York City's mayor from 1934 to 1945. La Guardia helped reinvent New York during his reign, from building parks to unifying the traffic system to building the airport that would take on his name. He is considered one of the greatest mayors not only in New York's, but in the country's history.

    And yes, La Guardia, although a practicing Episcopalian, had a Jewish mother. So that's nice.

    Nice, but we're still gonna fly into Newark.

    Verdict: Barely a Jew.

    June 23, 2011

    See Also

    Harry Anslinger

    Michael Bloomberg

    Jacob Javits

    Ed Koch

    Robert Moses
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