James R. “Jimmy” McManus, one of the longest reigning political bosses in the history of Manhattan, has recently passed away. He was 84.
Jimmy inherited his power from a long line of political leaders, starting with his great uncle Thomas J. McManus, who rose to power at the turn of the century.
Jimmy was an elected district leader, a title that gave him a strong presence in his neighborhood – the politically turbulent Hell’s Kitchen. In 1963, he founded the McManus Club, a political clubhouse that would go on to influence politics in the area for decades.
That said, by the time he became a district leader, political clubhouses had long since lost the power they wielded in the early 20th Century. Regardless, Jimmy made the most of the power he had, using his clubhouse as a means of providing favors – such as employment, housing or tax help – to people in the community.